'Idol' runner-up Kree Harrison talks about what's next, staying positive

loberle@beaufortgazette.comMay 17, 2013 

Kree Harrison may be the runner-up this season on "American Idol," but she says she doesn't feel like she lost anything.

Finishing the national singing competition second to St. Helena Island native Candice Glover, Harrison said she and Glover could not be more proud of each other.

A Woodville, Texas, native, Harrison moved to Nashville when she was in the sixth grade so she could pursue music. At age 10, Harrison had a recording deal with Lyric Street Records that dissolved two years later without any recordings being released.

Harrison lost both of her parents before reaching adulthood. Her father died in a plane crash when she was 11, and her mother died in a traffic accident when she was 19.

In a conference call on Friday, Harrison talked about staying positive, her newly released single and what's next.

On how a record deal now is different from her first one...

"I didn't know then exactly what I wanted to do because I was 10 years old. It wasn't the right time. It wasn't necessarily that I was butting heads with the label. They were amazing to me and more than anything taught me to stay true to who I was. There were a lot of things that had happened. I had a tragedy in my family. I think that it was good to sit back and do some soul searching, not just emotionally, but as an artist."

On staying upbeat after experiencing so much tragedy in her life...

"I think at the end of the day it's just a choice. You can chose to live your life happy. ... For me, this is the sweet after the bitter that I've had in my life. And I like to share that."

On her newly released single, "All Cried Out"...

"I feel like it's 100 percent me, and I couldn't be more thankful to call it my own. ... Lyrically, I couldn't have written the song better myself."

On letting Glover sing last on Wednesday, the last round of competition...

Kree won the coin toss, and therefore chose whether to sing first or second.

"I asked (Candice) and she said 'I want to go second,' and I said, 'Fine, I don't care.' I was just so happy to be able to perform again. ... Every song that Candice Glover sings is powerful. I'm so freaking proud of her, and I thought it was the best idea ever to start ("I (Who Have Nothing)") a cappella."

On waiting for Ryan Seacrest to announce the results...

"(Candice and I) were both just telling each other how proud we were. I said, 'If you win, you better sing your butt off,' and she was laughing at me."

Advice for future "Idol" contestants...

"Pace yourself, first of all. But more than anything, the beauty of coming into such an intense situation and competition is that you have to know who you are as an artist. I feel like that's what will make you stand out."

On the judges...

"I love them all so much, I don't have a favorite. But I do love Keith Urban and hope we get to collaborate more in the future."

What's next...

"I'm definitely going to get as much rest as I can because we've been working our butts off. More than anything, just kind of letting it sink all in, everything that's happened. I can't wait to go back to Nashville and make music."

Follow reporter Laura Oberle at twitter.com/IPBG_Laura.

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