OFFSTAGE: Scotty McCreery: A Trophy Yesterday, a Diploma Today

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Wednesday night (June 6) at the CMT Music Awards , Scotty McCreery won the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year award for “The Trouble With Girls.” But right after the show, he had to fly back to North Carolina for his high school graduation. “Some of my friends are here with me tonight, then we’re all flying back later tonight,” McCreery told me on the awards show purple carpet. Will there be a big graduation party for the whole McCreery clan? Oh, yes. “It’s like eight of us kids and their families, we’re all getting together. We’re gonna get some Bojangles. It’s the best fried chicken back home,” he said. And since McCreery is putting that cap and gown on Thursday as a distinguished honors graduate — he told me he made sure he stayed “on the books and up on his studies” when he was on the road — I assumed his parents would have some kind of nice gift waiting for him at home. “This is the gift right here, I think. Just being here for this show,” he said. “That’s all I need.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.