Kellie Pickler, “American Idol” alum, was swept away with emotion during her performance at the CMA Awards on Wednesday night.
The singer performed, “I Wonder,” which tackles her relationship with her estranged mother, who has not been in Pickler’s life since she was 2 years old, as reported by People.
As she sang, “Oh, I hear the weather’s nice in California,” tears streamed down her face. “And just in case you’re wondering about me/ From now on I won’t be in Carolina/ Your little girl is off to Tennessee,” the song continued.
The singer’s estranged mother, Cynthia Malone, told the Charlotte Observer last summer, “I knew God had to have a purpose for [Kellie] because there was too many times I would have miscarried because of all the hitting and beating on my stomach.”
Pickler did her best to finish the song, speaking the last word, “Tennessee,” to a standing ovation from the crowd.
This is not Kellie’s first time dealing with parental problems. During her stint on “Idol,” her father, Clyde Raymond Pickler, was serving time in jail. After being released, he encountered more problems after reportedly being arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman with a steak knife.
Regardless of her past personal struggles, Kellie has achieved success in both music and television.
After being booted from “Idol,” Pickler released her debut album “Small Town Girl” in October 2006. It was certified Gold for selling more than 500,000 copies. The singer also has a sitcom in development at Fox.