After a lost record deal, Scotty McCreery rebounds on a song

FILE - In this April 2, 2017 file photo Scotty McCreery arrives at the 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. McCreery has finally earned his first No. 1 radio hit, along with a new label and new album. McCreery says he feels like he’s starting over.(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Country singer Scotty McCreery had strong initial success after winning "American Idol" seven years ago, but lack of radio play left him without a record deal two years ago

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two years ago, country singer Scotty McCreery found out he lost his record deal with Mercury/Interscope while he was shooting an episode for "American Idol," the show he won in 2011. He was mentoring new contestants, but his own career, which he started as a teenager, was at a precipice.

McCreery knew the only thing that might revive his career was his song "Five More Minutes," which he wrote about losing his grandfather in 2015. He released it last year without the backing of a label and it became a fan favorite, earning standing ovations every night.

Now at 24, McCreery has finally earned his first No. 1 radio hit, along with a new label and a new album.

McCreery says he feels like he's starting over.

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