Kellie Pickler is finally getting over a bad flu, which is good because she is cooking on ABC-TV’s “The Chew” today, and then she’s singing here in Vegas this week.
I called her in Nashville on Monday and asked how she felt.
“I can breathe out of both nostrils now, so that’s good. I still have a little bit of a cough,” Kellie said in that awesome North Carolina accent.
Kellie was so sick, she was nursing a “bronchitis-type cough,” and she had to cancel a concert in Mississippi last week. This is the first time Kellie, 27, ever got the flu.
Will she be well enough to play Vegas?
“Yeah, I’m definitely on the up and up, for sure. Everybody’s been sick. My husband is sick. My band guys are sick.”
I told her it sounds romantic she and her husband got the flu at the same time.
“Yeah, it was really romantic,” she joked back. “Kleenex everywhere. It was awesome. All these pill bottles and antibiotics are sexy.”
Kellie has a new single, “Closer to Nowhere” from her new album, “The Woman I Am.”
Kellie will perform Thursday at Red Rock Resort, along with Sheryl Crow, Gary Allan, Kacey Musgraves, Thomas Rhett, Parmalee, Dustin Lynch and Lindsay Eli for a KWNR-FM 95.5 acoustic storytelling concert to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Then she’ll sing at the MGM on Monday for “ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops” along with Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and a hat full of stars who will be in town for Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM.
But first things first. Today, Kellie will guest co-host the foodie show “The Chew.” She and I had this little back-and-forth chat about food.
Me: “Can you cook?”
Kellie: “I can if I apply myself. When I’m on my tour bus, I have a stove there. I love pasta and stuff like that. Zucchini. Squash. Vegetarian stuff. It’s pretty easy.”
Me: “Are you a vegetarian?”
Me: “I lived in Knoxville once. I thought it was against Tennessee state law to be a vegetarian.”
Kellie: “You’d think, wouldn’t you? But I’m not from Tennessee. I’m from North Carolina. It is a crime from where I am from, but I didn’t tell anybody. That’s why they kicked me out. Where I’m from, to be a vegetarian, you’re an alien. Everybody thinks you’re nuts. They think something’s wrong with you.”
Me: “I don’t eat meat, either. I like it when super unhealthy people give me crap about not eating meat.”
Kellie: “Yeah, that’s always the best, isn’t it? And you’re wasting your breath saying anything back. You just shake your head and go, ‘Whatever you say.’ ”
Me: “Even when I was a kid, I didn’t like bacon. And people are like, ‘How do you live without bacon?’ And I’m like, ‘Yuck, that’s disgusting.’ ”
Kellie: “Actually, if you think about it, you DO live, not eating that. In the long run, you do live” without bacon.
But like Shania Twain, Kellie isn’t telling everybody they should stop eating meat. She’s just walking the walk of her own path:
“When people ask me what kind of ‘diet’ I’m on, I’m like, ‘I don’t like that word. It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle.’ Everyone finds the right lifestyle for them. For me, this is what works. This is me at my best.”
Doug Elfman’s column appears on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Email him at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/entertainment/reel.