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Q+A Celebrity Connection: Candice Glover

From Broadway to upcoming shows in the Arts Center’s “Saturday Night Fever,” our local American Idol winner is hardly idle.

Story by Lisa Allen

Candice Glover won American Idol on May 16, 2013. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Candice Glover became a household name in Beaufort County when the St. Helena Island native won “American Idol” in 2013 with a voice that could power an entire town.

But for the rest of the world, Glover, 28, has had to prove herself again and again that she is a viable entertainer.

“People make a lot of assumptions about the music industry,” Glover said. “Coming off of a realty show, they expect you to be Beyoncé, but you have to work even harder to get people to take you seriously. In the music industry, it’s considered a talent show and people think you cheated your way into the industry.”

But “American Idol” wasn’t a shortcut for Glover. She competed on the show three times before winning and has racked up frequent flyer miles ever since, crisscrossing the country to perform wherever she can.

She has sung at the Staples Center, Madison Square Garden and before national television audiences. That’s the easy part.

“It’s easier to sing for 20,000 people than 15. You can feel all of the love from everyone,” Glover said.

She performed to large crowds in December as part of “Home for the Holidays” at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre. The show was headlined by Glover; Bianca Ryan, winner of “America’s Got Talent” season 1; and Josh Kaufman, winner of “The Voice” season 6.

“I grew up a lot being on Broadway,” Glover said. “Living in New York City helped shape me. It gave me confidence. It was a great experience. It was like a dream.”

Although she admits it’s in reverse order, she’s taking performance and directing classes at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) after appearing on Broadway. “Most people take acting classes and get their big break on Broadway. I am doing it backwards,” she said. “I love the theater. When I do my music, it’s kind of acting as well. There is an emotional aspect of my music and you have to show that.”

Glover works her classes around performances. She spends a lot of time in Atlanta and Savannah, but “hotel rooms are really my home,” she said.

As part of SCAD, she performed over Memorial Day weekend in “Smokey Joe’s Café” in Savannah and will be part of the production of “Saturday Night Fever” at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in Hilton Head Island. The show runs through July.

“We were overjoyed when Candice signed on to join the cast of the Arts Center’s “Saturday Night Fever,” said Andrea Gannon, vice president of marketing for the center. “Not only does she bring unqualified star power to the already incredible cast, most of whom are from New York City, but she brings a powerhouse voice to the stage that will be sure to shake the rafters. What a thrill to have her here this summer.”

Glover also is keeping her fans engaged with a steady stream of new singles. She released “My Mistake,” last year and “Break Me” this spring.

“The way the world works now, millennials want instant gratification, they want to click on something,” Glover said. She plans to follow up with videos and possibly an album in late 2018.

She’s particularly proud of her latest single, “Break Me.”

“I want to tell all the young women out there that whatever you’ve been through, your best days are ahead. We’re all taking back our power. I want to empower women,” Glover said.

She said that’s been her message long before the “MeToo” movement.

“It’s a coincidence the song came out now. I wrote that song from an authentic part in my heart. I want to encourage all of the women and men in my hometown to just do it. Follow your dreams. Don’t be afraid.”

Glover is living proof that perseverance pays off.

“Saturday Night Fever” featuring Candice Glover

Arts Center of Coastal Carolina through July 29

• Regular performance tickets, June 22-July 29; $50 for adults; $37 for children
• Tuesdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m, Sundays at 2 p.m.
• Special performance, 8 p.m., Monday, July 2 (No performance July 4)

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