Kellie Pickler was born in Albemarle, North Carolina to Cynthia Morton and Clyde "Bo" Raymond Pickler, Jr. Kelley's mother left when she was 2 but was then granted custody for two years. She was returned to her grandparents (Clyde Raymond Pickler, Sr., Faye Pickler) at age 12. Kellie's father was in and out of jail throughout her childhood. She was raised by her grandparents in Albemarle, North Carolina. Her grandparents were big influences in her life. She has a half-brother named Eric, a half-sister, Courtney, and a half brother, Michael; however, she has never met Michael. Her grandmother died in January, 2002 from lung cancer and Kellie continued to lived with her grandfather and her younger brother, Eric. She graduated in 2004 from North Stanly High School in New London, North Carolina, being a cheerleader and beauty queen. In 2005, Kellie tried out for American Idol (2002) and was sent to Hollywood. She sang many famous songs, including "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson, "A Broken Wing" by Martina McBride, and "Blame it on the Sun" by Stevie Wonder. She was one of Simon's favorites, but was eliminated in the Final 6. But this didn't stop her singing career. Kellie came back to Carolina and was given a key to the city on May 6, 2006, which was also called "Kellie Pickler Day". She then went to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue her dreams. In 2007, she was signed to a record deal named 19 Recordings/BNA Records. From there on, Kellie wrote and sang many songs that hit top charts, including "Red High Heels", "I Wonder", "Things that Never Cross a Man's Mind", "Don't You Know Your Beautiful, "You Didn't Know How Much I Loved You" and "The Best Days of Your Life".