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Heartache inspired songs, Pickler says

Kellie Pickler tells me she never had a “real man” until she met her husband. In fact, she was so mistreated in previous relationships, her exes inspired her to sing a lot of songs.

“I’ve made money from the heartache. I guess I should send my exes a thank-you card for buying my house,” she says. But then she laughs and adds, “Just kidding!”

The Southern country star — who performs Friday at the Silverton — says her husband, Kyle Jacobs, was never jealous while she was on “Dancing With the Stars” (which she just won with Derek Hough, while surrounded by other sex symbol dancers).

“I’m not a fool, and he’s not a fool. We would never do anything to jeopardize what we have. It’s just a dance. My husband’s always gonna get the last dance,” Pickler, 27, says.

“I never had a real man until I met Kyle,” a songwriter.

Likewise, she is a real woman for him. She has been “mistreated before in a relationship,” so she would never “inflict that kind of pain on someone else.”

The Kellie Pickler philosophy: Couples need to realize if the chemistry dies, then you should work it out or go your separate ways — but don’t cheat.

“Don’t make me look like a fool,” she says. “People get caught up in (cheating) moments, and they don’t realize the aftermath. People are ignorant, I guess.”

Speaking of breakups, Pickler’s friend Taylor Swift has been picked on by quite a few comedians and journalists for writing so many torch songs.

But when I bring this up, Pickler comes to the defense of Swift and other singers.

“People always say, ‘So-and-so only writes about relationships.’ But as far back as I can remember hearing country music, it has always been about relationships — ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today,’ ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Dolly Parton, and every Loretta Lynn song!

“That’s just country music in general.”

Pickler will be singing her new song, “Someone Somewhere Tonight,” at the Silverton. She is recording a new album for an October release.

And in time, she will probably end up on another USO tour.

“I’ve been overseas six times on six different USO tours, and they are the most amazing crowds I’ll ever play for,” Pickler says.

“I’ll never top those shows.”

She goes on USO tours not just to be nice but because it’s in her blood.

“I come from a military family, so I get it,” she says. “It’s the most life-changing thing I’ve ever done. It puts things in a whole different perspective.

“I know this is cliche: ‘We’re all blessed to be in America.’ But you know what? We are,” she says.

“I have been to Iraq and Afghanistan numerous times, and there are a lot of people hurting, and a lot of tragic things that happen every day there. … You do come back and count your blessings.”

And the troops help make those blessings of America possible, she says. She always thanks them when she sees them at Starbucks or the grocery store.

“It’s neat to go up to them and say, ‘Hey, I noticed your hat, thank you for your service.’ You would not believe the light that comes on in their eyes, like, ‘Thank you for saying something. I thought people forgot,’ ” she says.

“They need to know we have their back. They’ve got ours.”

Doug Elfman’s column appears Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

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