Life After Idol

In 2013, Candice Glover won the most successful and competitive singing competition in America. So why did this 28 year old decide to go back to college?

Embedded in gospel songs, and in the walls of a church on Sunday mornings, a small town girl found her calling. In the trill of her voice, and in the sultry warmth it brings, this small town girl knew she was destined for more—destined to fill rooms with the true heart of soul and the true depths of inner creativity.

Standing on stage as one of the last two contestants on the biggest singing competition in America was that same small town girl. However, this time, she was more than a small town girl. She was a girl whose voice had been heard, and whose voice had filled living rooms that can testify that the sweetest of songs are those that can only come from the endurance of a restless heart.

Right before being named winner of “American Idol,” Candice Glover was sure of one thing: she was not going to be the winner. In her mind, her steadfast confidence was that Kree Harrison, her opponent, had it in the bag, but as Ryan Seacrest called out Glover’s name, it was like each piece of confetti that rained down on her was a prophetic declaration; suddenly white church walls on a Sunday morning were now a confetti filled, color brimming theater. This was the harvest of a restless heart, and this was the start of something new, but it was definitely not the beginning.

For Candice Glover, life after Idol was not a stagnant, never-changing course upwards—it was like treading water, filled with both gratitude for the opportunities to follow and disappointment for the expectations that fell short. Having auditioned for “American Idol” three times before winning, Glover proved to be someone who never ceases to go after what she wants, without regard, and without a hindsight in mind.

“I remember specifically looking up at the confetti coming down and just being like, ‘What did I get myself into?’” she says. “I was just whisked away into this life, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m so happy I stuck to my guns and went for what I wanted.”

Not happy with how her debut album was at the point of winning “American Idol,” she waited to release the album. Her label didn’t trust her to write her own songs, so they were submitting songs she didn’t agree with, and she realized that in the music industry, “making it” actually means working harder, so she waited to release her debut album until the following February.

But along with the success from Idol, there has been disappointment both prior to winning, and after winning. In a time where social media was starting to rise, she recalls going deep into the troughs of social media after singing each episode, all to find a people abounding in negativity. A heart racing fast, adrenaline rushing through, and anxiety looming near, her and fellow contestant, Amber Holcomb would go on their phones after singing live to see what people were saying; discouragement followed. Rightly so, she says that even after winning, the worst thoughts are those that come from caring too much about what people have to say, and she’s slowly learning that what truly matters goes beyond that.

But, now, Glover has a clear understanding of who she is, and what she has to offer. Even in the face of disappointment and the backlash of negativity, she knows that beyond the frontier of labels and negative feedback, she is more than that. More than a singer or someone who stands before a microphone, transforming frailty into courage. She is a creative—unleashing artistic depths through the sound in her songs.

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