05/01/2006 AT 8:00 AM ET
Kellie Pickler left American Idol last week, when she was voted off the show. On Monday, her father, Clyde Pickler, is due to leave someplace much different – Florida State Prison.
The elder Pickler will have successfully served his three-year sentence for stabbing a trailer-park neighbor in 2003, reports the New York Post.
The Idol contestant was said to be cheered by news of her father’s release. “That’s her daddy, and he’s always been sweet to her,” Kellie’s stepfather, Brent Miller, tells the Post. Miller was married to Kellie s mother from 1995 to 1997.
Miller added that the elder Pickler, who had been in and out of jail for much of Kellie’s childhood, “has missed a lot of good times with her, but I’m sure Kellie will appreciate seeing him again.”
Yet, said Miller, “Even when he was in jail, he’d always call to see ‘How’s my girl doing?”
Clyde Pickler reportedly watched his daughter all through her Idol competition.
As for her feelings about her family, Kellie told reporters last week that her Idol experience helped her come to terms with her own life. “I got a lot of criticism for crying about my dad and my mom and family in the beginning, but it was really hard for me” said Kellie. “It’s not like I was used to getting on national television and talking about my life. It was embarrassing and I didn’t want to hurt my dad, but I knew if I didn’t come out in the beginning … that people would find out about it anyway. The most important thing you can do is be honest. And I’m not ashamed about my life anymore.”
This week, as her father gets his first taste of freedom in several years, Kellie will be in New York for a whirlwind week of media appearances. “I’m gonna do Regis & Kelly, TRL and VH1 – all those cool shows that I never thought I would ever be on. I think I’m going to do Jay Leno and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which is like my favorite show. I’m so excited to go and dance!” she told reporters the morning after she was voted off Idol.
As for what the future holds, Pickler said she’d love to get into acting, but would be open to doing another reality show because “it’s so much easier to just be Kellie than to try to be somebody you’re not.” She’ll also tour and release an album with other Idol finalists. The American Idols Live Tour 2006 kicks off July 6, in Manchester, N.H.