American Idol Winner Maddie Poppe is Setting the Music World on Fire

America’s Sweetheart Maddie Poppe is Delighting Fans Around the Nation During The American Idol 2018 Summer TourIf you work hard, and believe in yourself, the impossible can happen. Just ask American Idol winner Maddie Poppe, the new sweetheart of the music world.

At age 20, the native of small-town Clarksville, Iowa, (population 1,500), took a leap of faith with her musician father, Trent, and auditioned in New York for ABC’s first season of American Idol, the 16th season of the franchise. For Maddie, it was never about having stars in her eyes.

More than seeking fame or the spotlight, Maddie is looking for career longevity and the enjoyment of being involved in music and performing.

Maddie is a multi-instrumentalist playing guitar, piano, and ukulele. In 2016, she had also auditioned for The Voice. Prior to winning American Idol, Maddie released a debut album titled Songs from the Basement.  After five years of honing her craft and performing locally, she calls her decision to audition for American Idol her “saving grace.”

From the moment she performed an adorable and heart-felt rendition of Rainbow Connection, alongside Kermit the Frog, she had started to win the hearts of the judges – Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan – and scores of fans around the world.

Richie said Maddie had a “storytelling voice” and that “we need you in this show.” Perry said she had a “distinctive quality in your voice” and Bryan said, “I’m not critiquing you, ’cause you got me, I’m saying yes.”During the Top 24 stage, she sang Brand New Key, and for her celebrity duet performance, she sang Bubly with Colbie Caillat.

Her family, her hometown, social media followers and TV viewers around the world, collectively fell in love with her home-spun charm, melodic voice, and growing confidence.

During the finale American Idol she performed several songs with her father as well as singing Amazing Grace. She used to perform in with her father, Trent, and his band at their local Pioneer Days; one song they sang was Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses. Maddie performed in local talent shows with her sister; her first time on the stage was in the sixth grade.

She got her start performing at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Allison, Iowa  She had also been a stagehand setting up equipment for musicians at the county fair, revealing that she has never steered away from hard work. As long as she was able to do what she loved; it felt like pure heaven.

During the May 21 finale, Maddie won the American Idol title, with Caleb Lee Hutchinson chosen as the runner-up.

Currently, the Top 7 Finalists, including her boyfriend Caleb and Suburban Philadelphia’s Catie Turner, are touring the nation in a 40-city American Idol Summer Tour, with an August 14 stop at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA, and a final stop at on Sept. 16 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless)

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently declared May 20 as “Maddie Poppe Day” in the state of Iowa. Maddie will perform at a free concert on August 25, 2018, at a farmers market inCedar Rapids, Iowa,  along with the group 10 of Soul.  All of this is really just the beginning of a skyrocketing career. After she won American Idol,  she was a guest star on several major TV talk shows including, Jimmel Kimmel Live, Live With Kelly and Ryan, CMA Fest and the Radio Disney Music Awards.

Her latest video, Going Going Gone, and the 40-city American Idol Tour is just the start of a rich, long-lasting career from a sweet, grateful, small town girl. She is eager and ready to make her mark in the music world, and continue to make her family proud!

Has all of the attention after winning American Idol change you or your mindset. In other words, how has winning American Idol changed your life?

MP: I don’t know if change is the right word, but my life is definitely so different now just because everything that I do is kind of under a microscope, but it’s worth it and it is a lot of fun. I have had so much fun kind of adjusting to this new lifestyle.

How is the American Idol tour going? What have been the highlights?

MP: It’s all going really well. We all get along so well. We’ve all had a lot of fun going through this the first time together. It’s nice that it’s not just one of us experiencing it; it’s all of us experiencing it for the first time together. So that is really cool. It’s really been so much fun for us, both on and off stage.

Do you have any time to explore and tour the cities and towns before the shows?

MP: Yes. We get to each venue really early in the morning, so when we wake up that’s what we do, we go exploring the towns. We go shopping and find restaurants and local spots to spend time in.

Have there been any locations that surprised or intrigued you?

MP: There are some little towns that I really liked such as Napa, California, then we went down to Texas. I would say that every city is unique in some way, and sometimes they seem to blur together since there have been so many cities, but we always have a lot of fun when we get there.

What were your expectations when you initially auditioned for American Idol? What were you hoping for?

MP:  I think in my mind I was just was feeling that whatever was about to happen was just meant to be — whether it went bad or good; I really don’t know what I was expecting. I think I just went in hoping to do the best I could and I went in overall just wanting to have fun.

MP: I enjoy seeing you and Caleb together in videos and photos. So, what’s it like performing with him? What is it like hanging out with him?

MP: It’s a lot of fun being on the road together. It’s kind of funny, we joke that we are together more than a married couple; we’re definitely getting to know one another. It’s hard to be away from home and our families so it is reassuring to know that I always have him in my corner.

I love your Going Going Gone video. So, tell me what has been the reaction to it?

Maddie Poppe: It’s doing pretty well with five million views, and it was a lot of fun to make and I was excited to see the finished product. What I liked most about it is that I didn’t have to pretend to be something that I wasn’t. What advice do you have for anyone who wants to audition for the next season of American Idol? Or going for a big dream, what would you say to them?

MP: I would say just to never give up. I know that’s cliché, but it’s very true because there were a few times I wanted to give up, and I didn’t think I could do it anymore. But I kept pushing and got to where I wanted to be. So, I think you have to believe and know that nothing is impossible. If you told me a year ago that I’d be where I am – I wouldn’t have believed you. So, I would tell them to never, ever give up – because you might be just one yes away from your whole life changing.

After the tour do you know what your future looks like? Do you know what you want to happen?

MP: I’m going to be recording for this new album and hopefully have an album ready for the spring of next year. After the tour, I am going to write with other artists and musicians. There are a lot of new things I am looking forward to.

Is it surreal to have this much attention with all of the TV, tour and social media attention and all the people following you, and your career and caring about you?

MP:  It’s really pretty crazy. But whenever I am having a bad day or feeling stressed out I can do something as simple as getting on the internet and reading the  YouTube comments. People have been so supportive of me. It’s very unreal that my voice and my music can have that much of an impact on somebody. I was extremely touched by your father-daughter bond during the American Idol auditions since I was definitely Daddy’s Little Girl. What was it like sharing the win with your family, and especially your dad?

MP: It’s been awesome to share all of this with my father. It’s also been really hard being away from him because last year at this time we were doing all of this together, we were doing all of our shows together. He was doing sound and booking shows for me and it’s been hard, to be honest. But I am really excited to be thinking about going back with him and my family again.

If I gave you a few hours off, a day or a weekend not to work how would you spend the free time?

MP: I think I would be hanging out with my family, actually.

Are there favorite Poppe family pastimes?

MP: It doesn’t really matter what we do. Really, just being with them. Going out to eat, sometimes we go on bike rides. Honestly, any time I can spend with them at this point of time in my life is awesome.

Photo: (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Is Caleb a good boyfriend? Is he into romantic gestures?

MP:  Oh yes, he’s so good to me. I don’t always feel that I deserve him, because he’s so patient with me, too.

What is it like when little girl fans say ‘Maddie Poppe, I want to be just like you when I grow up?’

MP: It’s so sweet when little girls will say that. It’s also very humbling. I really feel honored when I hear that.

Before American Idol came into your life, at age 20 when did you think you would be doing now?

MP: I thought I’d be in college, for sure. I was in college before this whole thing started. I never thought this would work out for me.

This is the middle of the tour is it exhausting/exhilarating – all of the above?

MP: –We are getting into the routine. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also repetitive. We have different venues and crowds. So, it seems like it’s the same show over and over again but you’re not.

If you had a chance to sit down face-to-face with fans of different ages who followed you, supported you and were invested in you to winning American Idol, what would you say to them?

MP: What would I say?  I do have that chance and what I say is thank you and that I truly appreciate all that support. It means a lot to me that you are spending money to come and see me perform and follow my music. It means the world to me just to know that I have people behind you and to support what I do.


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