Bucky Covington adds a new twist to the notion that winning is everything. The eighth-place finalist on the fifth season of the runaway hit TV show American Idol, Covington has now parlayed that into a burgeoning country music singing career. And that was exactly what he set out to accomplish.
"The main reason I wanted to get on the show was to get enough recognition to start a career," explains the 29-year-old native of Rockingham, North Carolina. He had sung with local bands for the last decade and wanted to get a Nashville record deal, but he wasn't quite sure how to actualize his dream. "I kept wondering: how do people do that? It was kind of like saying I wanted to be a fire truck ï¿½ almost impossible."
But now he's recording his debut album with Sawyer Brown singer Mark Miller as the producer and singing on the 20-date GAC Country Music Christmas Tour alongside Deana Carter, Julie Roberts, Blue County and Steve Azar. With his first single slated for an early 2007 release, Covington is on his way to seeing his dreams come true.
He's a genuine good ole Southern boy with oodles of down-home charm that grew up in the heart of NASCAR country racing dirt bikes and four-wheelers and loving country music. "Like everyone else, I've always sung in the shower and the car," he says. After he graduated from high school, Covington bought his first guitar and taught himself how to play (he also plays bass and drums).
He was inspired to do so after hearing an album by the Jeff Healey Band, who he'd seen in the movie Roadhouse. "I remember playing that album and picturing myself on stage with a pair of sunglasses on, playing guitar and singing, and thinking, that would be cool," Covington says.
Soon he was singing country and Southern rock every weekend throughout the Carolinas. By day, he worked in the family auto body shop. "All I figured was: my dad owns a body shop and that was where I was going to work, and then I'd own it," he explains.
But Covington wanted something more. "I was watching TV one night and saw this Army commercial that said, 'If someone were to write a book on your life, would anyone want to read it?' That made a lot of sense and really inspired me."
He was thinking of moving to Nashville to make his bid to get heard by the music business when the wife of his twin brother Rocky, who is also a musician, suggested that they both try out for American Idol. At the show's auditions in nearby Greensboro, Bucky made it through the initial three rounds and was chosen to go on to Los Angeles and compete further for a slot on the show.
"There's a thin line between confidence and cockiness," says Covington, "but I really had a feeling that I would make the show. Not win the show, but make the show ï¿½ the top 24.
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