Kellie Pickler exclusive on CMAs, USO and Taylor Swift

Nov 10, 2009 at 1:22 p.m. ET

Kellie Pickler visited Extreme Makeover: Home Edition November 8 and then visited with SheKnows to exclusively share how the experience changed her life. Pickler also dishes on November 11 Country Music Awards, her USO tours and her upcoming global trek performing with Taylor Swift.

Kellie Pickler, exclusive!Pickler rocketed to fame as an alumnus of American Idol, but has since carved out her very own niche within the country music industry. Her Red High Heels may have announced to the world she was ready to strut out on her own, her self-titled latest album proves the singer is here to stay.

Nominated for Female Video of the Year for Don't You Know You're Beautiful on Wednesday's Country Music Awards, Pickler shares her emotions in the days prior to a big award show for the industry that has embraced her with both arms.

SheKnows: Hello Kellie, thanks for visiting with

Kellie Pickler: My goodness, such a pleasure.

SheKnows: What do you think it is about Extreme Makeover Home Edition that so special that you had to be a part of it this last week?

Kellie Pickler: The show is one of the most incredible shows that is on television. I was so blessed to be a part of it. The show was all about giving back and helping people and just loving one another. It was a beautiful thing to be a part of and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

SheKnows: How did you find the affable Ty Pennington?

Kellie Pickler: He was so remarkably genuine. He is such a good person, so sweet. Everyone on the show, everyone involved in the show, their heart and souls are in the right place. I think out of all the television shows that I've been a part of, this has been the best experience. I love what the show is about. It's so different than anything else on television. It's actually one of the few shows where the heart and motives are good. It's such a positive show. It's great for families. You can watch it with your kids and you don't have to worry about anything inappropriate (laughs). It's a learning show, too. It teaches you about morals, discipline and how to treat one another. It's amazing.

Kellie Pickler on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

SheKnows: How would you say that this particular experience moved you? It seemed quite deeply.

Kellie Pickler: It did. For me, I learned so much from this family. Their living situation in particular with the dad being handicapped and also the brother Uncle Joe -- who lives in the house with them -- they have kids and the mom who is like a rock. But, they were in such a small space. This family is so deserving of this -- I learned so much from them as far as not to take things for granted. I think we as human beings, we are all guilty of taking life for granted. Taking the fact that we're an American for granted. When you see the father's story coming from Vietnam, winning a gold medal for the US as a wheelchair athlete, you understand what I mean when I say we take for granted that we are an American. It's really beautiful.

SheKnows: Speaking of treasuring Americans -- how was your most recent trip to the Persian gulf?

Kellie Pickler: It was great! I'm actually excited about going back. We're planning another USO tour with Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser.

SheKnows: Sweet!

Kellie Pickler: (Laughs) Never a dull moment with those two, I'm sure.

Touring with Taylor Swift

SheKnows: I am so sure! What are your thoughts on the upcoming tour with Taylor Swift?

Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley and Kellie Pickler at 2008 CMAsKellie Pickler: We have not even…wait, the CMAs are Wednesday. Then she's heading to Australia. We haven't planned for next year, yet. I'm sure there will be a lot of vamping up the show and making it somewhat different from this year. A lot of the same people will be coming back and we want the show to be new and fresh. It's going to be amazing.

SheKnows: Well, it is such a perfect pairing, my goodness.

Kellie Pickler: It has been great. We're both blown away with how quickly all the shows are selling out (laughs). It's incredible.

SheKnows: Saw you on Ellen on Halloween…

Kellie Pickler: Ellen is a lot of fun. Now there's a never a dull moment person (laughs).

SheKnows: You got to dress up as your ultimate hero, Dolly Parton!

Kellie Pickler at the 2008 CMAsKellie Pickler: That was by far my most favorite Halloween…ever.

SheKnows: We've got the Country Music Awards November 11. You're attending and I wondered, for you to be so embraced by the country music community after your time on American Idol, has got to be so rewarding. Nominations and awards are nice, but I mean simply the acceptance into the community of Nashville. For you to be nominated alongside these people who are your heroes has to be a thrill.

Kellie Pickler: I definitely makes you feel good and what not. For me, it's not about the awards. I don't define success by how many awards you have or how much money you have. To me, success is if I'm happy. If you have $20 million in the bank and you're not happy, you're not successful to me -- that's my opinion. It's great to be able to go to these shows like the CMAs and see people you're a fan of and had their posters hanging on your wall when you were kid. It's cool to be doing what you love in the company of these heroes. It is a good feeling.

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