Big Garner, North Carolina native Scotty McCreery was born on October 9, 1993 to Judy (née Cooke) and Michael McCreery. His father was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican mother and an American father. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, McCreery confirmed that he has Puerto Rican ancestry. "Yes, I'm Puerto Rican," said McCreery with a smile. "I have a little bit of J.Lo in me." McCreery first picked up a guitar at the age of 10 and often impersonated Elvis Presley. While attending Garner Magnet High School he joined a vocal ensemble, Die Meistersingers, that performs across the United States. He started out singing tenor but switched to bass when his voice turned lower in his sophomore year with the group. At the age of 16, McCreery won a singing contest called "Clayton Idol" at the Clayton Harvest Festival in Clayton, North Carolina.
On May 25, 2011, McCreery won the tenth season of American Idol. At 17, he became the second youngest Idol winner behind season 6 winner Jordin Sparks and the first male country singer to win the contest. This country ballad is his debut single, which was released immediately after the show's finale.
The sweeping ballad was written by Lil' Ronnie, Esther Dean and Brett James and was sung as his coronation song during the finale of the tenth season of American Idol. It finds the 17-year-old country crooner telling a girl, "I know I'm still young/ But I know how I feel/ I might not have too much experience/ But I know when love is real."
While Brett James is a well-known Country songsmith, his co-writers are better known for their pop and R&B tunes. Ester Dean has penned Hot 100 #1s for Rihanna ("Rude Boy
," "What's My Name?
" and S&M
") and Katy Perry "Firework
"). Lil' Ronnie (real name Ronnie Jackson) has produced tracks for such artists as R. Kelly, Britney Spears and Reuben Studdard.
Despite the fact this song and the American Idol tenth season runner up, Lauren Alaina's, debut single, "Like My Mother Does" were penned by different writers, both songs feature big vocal key changes at the same exact moment (3:02). Both tunes do share the same producer - Mark Bright.
McCreery told MTV News the song is a perfect fit for him. "'I Love You This Big' is great," said. "It was a great song to start off with and I was so excited when they played that for me in a demo. I thought this could really be a good one."
The tune debuted at #32 on Country Songs marking the highest debut for a brand new artist's first single since the chart converted to BDS data in January 1990.
The song's music video was shot in an area of Los Angeles called Angels Point and finds Scotty taking part in a summertime barbecue and fireworks show. "The location for the shoot was really cool. If you looked one way, you could see Dodger Stadium, and if you looked another way, you could see downtown L.A.," he said. "We found this park that had a little country feel to it, and it all worked out ... If I hadn't told you that, you would think we would have shot that in North Carolina. The music video has a summertime barbecue feel, like a July Fourth party with fireworks and hot dogs and families."
Scotty discussed why this song has proved so successful for him: "It was perfect for the 'American Idol' moment onstage because it could relate to my family or it could relate to my fans out there who got me through the whole American Idol journey. We thought it would do pretty good at country radio, too, and we'd give it a shot, and it did just that.It will always be special to me because it's my first song. Once I started singing it in front of crowds, it took on a new life. I would look up and their arms would be spread open wide when I'd sing 'I Love You This Big.' It was just a cool thing to see. It always puts a grin on my face when I look out there and see their arms open wide and see a husband and wife looking at each other with their arms opened wide."