Before he became one of America’s most loved singers, thanks to ‘American Idol,’ Scotty McCreery was learning about life and what path to pursue from his biggest fan and supporter, his dad. McCreery credits his father for many things that has helped shape the young man he is today. But above all, he says his dad was the one who inspired him to follow his heart into music.

“My dad is the guy who really taught me a lot about myself growing up,” McCreery tells Taste of Country. “He has a job where he has to travel sometimes. He’s always working hard at it. He’s also the guy who taught me how to throw a baseball. I have two loves in life: singing and baseball. He was a pitcher growing up, and he was always out there with me, throwing with me at the field on off days when we weren’t practicing. We were in the bullpens and practicing. He always said hard work will pay off, and whether that’s baseball for me or singing now, it’s the truth. You’ve got to put forth the effort to get back your results.”

The phrase “father knows best” paid off big time in this situation. McCreery, who will attend college in the fall, is currently in the studio beginning to lay the groundwork for his sophomore album that will follow his first release, ‘Clear as Day.’ McCreery’s latest single from that album, ‘Water Tower Town,’ is at radio now.