Flashback to one of Scotty McCreery’s most epic Elvis covers YouTube/Shan Liang
Youtube/Shan Liang

From the moment country music fans fell in love with Scotty McCreery, they have known of his love for Elvis Presley. The singing legend, who would have turned 83 on Jan. 8, has remained a music idol for Scotty throughout his career, with the young singer often throwing a good dose of Elvis into his set list.

But back in 2011, as Scotty was competing on “American Idol,” many fans were just realizing the important role Elvis’ music has played in Scotty’s life. And in that year, Scotty stepped on the “Idol” stage and made his presence known as he turned out an incredible performance of Elvis’ 1954 hit “That’s All Right.”

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“As a kid, I was a big Elvis fan, so it felt very fitting to sing Elvis this week,” he said in a pre-performance interview as he was shown working on giving the Elvis song a little Scotty treatment. “We are going to be kind of doing something a little different this week. It’s not going to be the country Scotty. I’m going be kind of giving that that rock feel for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame week.”

And there was no doubt that Scotty was feeling quite confident as he stepped on the stage, donning a denim long sleeve shirt and an Elvis growl that showed his fellow competitors that he wasn’t fooling around! In fact, throughout the song, you could hear the girls screaming in the crowd, and yes, at the end of the song the production had some of those same girls running onstage to pretty much attack their favorite artist.

Heck, even “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest acted shocked.

“Scotty is in it to win it!” judge Randy Jackson yelled, laughing and smiling over Scotty showing off this new side.

“I thought you were all hat and no cattle,” judge Steven Tyler chimed in, taking a shot at Scotty’s country roots. But he then turned the insult into a compliment, adding, “You brought Elvis into the house.”

The performance certainly helped to cement Scott’s eventual “American Idol” win over fellow competitor and fellow future country star Lauren Alaina. The performance also gave quite a sneak peek at the wide range of music that he would bring to his fans in the years ahead.


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These days, fans are looking forward to listening to this wide range of music on Scotty’s new album. His highly-anticipated set, “Seasons Change,” is coming out March 16, and you can pre-order it now at


He says of his time since appearing on the reality show, “I have grown from a teenager to a man, moved out on my own, lost my grandfather, proposed to the love of my life, and learned more about myself than I could have imagined. This all shows up in the 11 songs on ‘Seasons Change,’ and I cannot wait to share this music with my fans after such a long time between releases.”

We can’t wait either, Scotty!

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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