We’ve got an “Idol” amongst us!
Covington is already known as the Hollywood of the South. But, now we have another reason to celebrate. American Idol season four alum, Bo Bice, recently found his new home in our fair city. Since appearing on American Idol, and releasing his first album in 2005 with RCA, Bice has become a major name in the music industry and boasts an impressive resume! His first album containing collaborations with Chad Kroeger from Nickelback became certified gold. However, Bice did not stop there. He then went on to create his own record label out of necessity called Sugar Money Records.
To honor him and his contribution to Georgia music, local music man extraordinaire Mack McKibben invited Bice to join him and his band, Drive Time, to play in last year's July 4th celebration. This year’s Independence Day in the Park will be held on the Covington Square and promises to be full of fireworks (literally and figuratively)!
Mack McKibben of McKibben's Music says he met Bice a little more than a year ago, when the artist kept visiting his music store. “He is good people,” McKibben said about Bice, who was runner-up to Carrie Underwood on the show. “He's very talented and gifted; he's got a good, strong voice. I feel fortunate and blessed to know him.” Bo Bice, himself, said family members have lived in the community for about 10 years, and he and his family have lived in Newton County for a little more than a year, after growing up in various places around the Southeast. “People treat me normal around here,” he said. “I'm grateful for people to remember who I am almost 10 years now since 'Idol.'” He said that he likes that Covington is a little country town that happens to have a lot of cool stuff in it, like a lot of the filming lately.
At last year's July 4 celebration, Bice sang some covers, particularly of some Georgia bands, and some of his original music. He was backed by local band Drive Time for most of the show. “They're tight. They're a great band,” said Bice, who began practicing with Drive Time last week. “The music, it transcends all races and cultures and ages. They represent so many styles of music.” Drive Time also includes local singer April Allen, as well as McKibben's son Micah on vocals and congas, and nephew Pete Hall on trumpet, in addition to seven other members who are from the area playing guitars, drums and other instruments. Drive Time plays covers of songs from Shania Twain, the Zac Brown Band, Beyonce and Bruno Mars, among others. “We play everything,” Mack McKibben said. Once Bice finished his set with the national anthem, the fireworks began. Make sure to mark your calendars for this year's 4th on the Square celebration in July, and see the sparks fly!