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Kellie Pickler and Rascal Flatts 

When: Thu., Sept. 16 2010

After Kellie Pickler was eliminated from American Idol in 2005, it looked like she would go the way of most of the show's alums (paging Justin Guarini and that Sanjaya dude). But the ditzy North Carolina native has carved out quite a career, racking up several hits (including "Red High Heels," "I Wonder," and "Best Days of Your Life") over the past four years. Perhaps more astonishing: Both of her albums — 2006's Small Town Girl and 2008's Kellie Pickler — topped the country chart. The 24-year-old comes off somewhat scatterbrained at times, but she's a former cheerleader and beauty queen — so it's not like our expectations should have been very high. She's charming and sexy, and she has managed to steer away from the more controversial aspects of her past. Both of her parents have done time: her dad, an alcoholic and drug addict, for aggravated assault; her mom for writing a fake valium prescription. Pickler is finishing her third album, which should be out soon. Expect to hear a few songs from it when she opens for Rascal Flatts at Blossom this week. Ed Condran

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