Kellie Pickler’s estranged mother says she is proud of her daughter but has not tried to contact her, according to an interview published Friday (Nov. 16) in the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer newspaper. The woman, who asked to be identified by her maiden name of Cynthia Morton, left Pickler to flee an abusive relationship when the singer was 2. When Pickler was 10, Morton returned but only for two years. After a court case citing abuse, Morton returned her daughter to the custody of Pickler’s paternal grandparents and has not spoken to her daughter since then. Morton would not indicate where she now resides. Pickler first gained an audience as a finalist on this season of American Idol. Her debut album, Small Town Girl, entered Billboard‘s country chart at No. 1 earlier this month.