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Meet Maddie Poppe: Winner of ‘American Idol’ Season 16 (Includes interview)

Poppe is the inaugural winner of American Idol on its new network ABC. On winning the reality singing competition, she said, “It was definitely not what I expected. I never thought that I could win something like this. I feel really grateful, and it is an experience, where I am still trying to soak up every moment,” she said.

The biggest compliment she earned during this season of American Idol was when Idol judge, pop queen Katy Perry compared Poppe to the 17-year-old version of herself. “That was a really cool compliment to receive,” she admitted.

On her plans for the future, Poppe said, “We are going on tour this summer, and I’m going to ride that out. Honestly, I am taking it a week at a time. There are so many opportunities and big things happenings, and I am trying to take it all in. I don’t want to get too overwhelmed, so I am living in the now.”

The Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, had declared May 20, 2018, as “Maddie Poppe Day” in the state. “That was the best day of my life,” she acknowledged. “It was incredible to see all the people that came out. That was actually a turning point for me.”

This year’s Top 7 American Idol finalists will be performing at The Space at Westbury on Long Island, on August 16, 2018, as part of the American Idols LIVE summer tour. Former American Idol champ Kris Allen will serve as their special musical guest. “We are rehearsing for tour right now. We are getting some fun songs together. Everybody is going to have an awesome set. We will do a few group numbers, so that should be a lot of fun,” she said. “I haven’t met Kris Allen yet in person, but I am really excited to meet him.”

Poppe listed teen singer-songwriter Caleb Lee Hutchinson as her dream male duet partner in music, who ironically enough is her boyfriend, and was the runner-up winner of Season 16 of American Idol.

Growing up, Poppe listed Sara Bareilles, Brandi Carlile, Ingrid Michaelson and Hayley Williams as her greatest musical influences. “I really admire all of those artists, since they bring their own thing to the table and they are so unique,” she said.

For aspiring singer-songwriters, Poppe encouraged them to “be themselves” and “to keep writing.” “Don’t be so hard on yourselves. You are never going to be 100 percent satisfied with any song you write. I know I’m not,” she said.

She defined the word success simply as contentment. “Success is being happy and satisfied with what you are doing,” she said.

Digital transformation of the music business

On the impact of technology on the music business, Poppe said, “I think it’s amazing. Social media is so bittersweet. It takes away from people’s everyday lives, but at the same time, all of the good that it can do outweighs that. Technology can spread the word very fast, and it is unbelievable how many people you can name that have made it thanks to social media. It is a great way to connect with the fans.”

Regarding her use of technology in her daily music routine, she said, “I have about 150 Voice Memos on my phone, that span from six seconds to two minutes long of random melodies and ideas. I go back to those sometimes, and listen to them.”

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“I am super grateful that there are people that love what I am doing just as much as I do,” she said. “I really appreciate every single fan.”

“Going Going Gone” is available on iTunes.

To learn more about American Idol Season 16 winner Maddie Poppe, check out her official Facebook page.

Read More: Digital Journal reviewed Maddie Poppe’s “Going Going Gone” single and music video.

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