Exclusive: How Singer/Songwriter Catie Turner’s Career Continues to Soar Since ‘American Idol’

Catie Turner
Catie Turner. Pic Credit: Amanda Elman.

Catie Turner has already accomplished a great deal as one of the Top 7 on American Idol, singing with Katy Perry and opening for Meghan Trainor

At age 22, when many of us are still figuring out our career path, Catie has a recording deal with Atlantic Records and had crossed the country during several performing tours. In fact, she just finished her current summer tour.

Along the way, the former quirky contestant with a colorful personality and personal style complete with patent leather go-go boots, has gained confidence and millions of devoted fans who eagerly await whatever richness her future brings.

It was only a few years ago that Catie was a teenager sitting on her bed at her home in Suburban Philadelphia’s Langhorne, writing songs, strumming her guitar, and dreaming of an enriching career.

After attempts on America’s Got Talent and American Idol, in 2018, Catie and Catherine Turner, her mom and number one supporter headed to Disney Springs for an American Idol audition that changed the trajectory of her life.

In the past five years, her confidence has soared along with her career, but she says she remains grounded – something her family insists on. 

She still loves American Idol, the celebrity judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry, and host Ryan Seacrest, and continues to follow the contestants from their auditions to the announcement of the winner. 

“I love watching and seeing their journey,” Catie exclusively tells Monsters and Critics. “I completely relate to those kids, what they’re going through and how it’s the most life-changing. It’s fun to watch and empathize and fall in love with them as a viewer, but also as somebody who knows what they’re going through.”

While Catie knows she should celebrate all of her accomplishments, and often have those ‘pinch me moments’ sometimes her success feels surreal. 

“Now I am forcing myself to pinch myself a little bit and understand that I am doing fine,” she explains. “It’s always a great feeling when I’m like ‘Oh, my God I’m only 22 and I would just be graduating college this year.’ I’m doing pretty well. I am forced to give myself credit and that is always an amazing feeling!”

Read on to find out how Catie Turner’s career and life evolved since American Idol, what family support means the world to her, and how – with hard work and tenacity — dreams really can come true.

Monsters and Critics: So much has changed for you in the past few years. Tell me everything.

Catie Turner: So much has changed, but then I feel there are moments like these when I’m at home in my bedroom that not much has changed at all. So that’s a weird in-between place to live in, but yes, I guess things have really changed. I had the song God Must Hate Me blow up; that was cool. It had 40 million streams, that’s an insane amount of people, and I am just still trying to do this as a living.

M&C: The last time we talked, you were singing with Katy Perry on Idol., and doing the tour, which I saw. And hanging with Idol winner Maddie Poppe a little bit. Professionally is everything different?

CT: Kind of. I’m not necessarily singing with Katy Perry anymore because she’s a little hard to get in contact with because she’s Katy Perry, but I think it’s different in the way I am making relationships now outside of American Idol but still honoring my roots and loving what got me here; everything is just growing.

M&C: Do you keep in touch with Idol friends?

CT: Of course, I do. I talk to Caleb Hutchinson. I am always looking at their Instagrams and seeing what’s going on in their life. It’s kind of that beautiful relationship, though, where no matter how much time passes of not talking, I’ll always consider them very important people because of the experience we shared.

M&C: I’m sure you enjoy all of the places where you perform, but it must be extra sweet when you come home to perform in Philadelphia?

CT: I love it more because I just know that my bed is waiting for me around the corner. Hotel rooms have nothing on being in your own house and your own home and seeing your family. It just feels different, it just feels so welcoming. Then I spend the rest of the tour just counting down the days until I get to go home and see my family and sleep.

M&C: Sleep is a big one that we all need when we are super busy. Do you like traveling?

CT: I do like it. I love looking at cheesy gas station memorabilia, I love seeing places in the country I never would have seen before, and all the vintage shops and the antiques, I love it. It’s a whole world out there that I never even knew existed.

M&C: I know you love taking trips to Disney. When was the last time you were there?

CT: A week ago, my mom and I were in Orlando for the tour and stayed on the Disney property. We made a plan to go into the Disney parks on my day off in Orlando, but I wound up sleeping 15 hours and we ended up not going to any of the parks.  

M&C: Talk about family support. What does your mom’s continued support mean to you?

CT: I consider myself really, really lucky to have that type of support. Because even though sometimes I think it’s like a child’s duty to sometimes be embarrassed by their parents and go, “Oh, Mom, don’t do that,” at the core of it, I am so grateful. I recognize that I have people who whether or not I do this for the rest of my life they’ll be proud of me regardless. It’s that love that keeps me going and lets me do what I want to do for all my days. Without my mom’s support, I feel that it would be a very different journey.

Catie Turner
Catie Turner. Pic Credit. Amanda Elman.

M&C: How hard is it to have a ‘normal’ life? When you are not performing or rehearsing or doing all the things you do can you go out to Suburban Diner or somewhere else that you enjoy and hang out with friends?

CT: I love Suburban. Oh my God, yes. Honestly, it’s pretty easy. Of course, sometimes I’ll get stopped, but the most I’ll get is some people looking at me. Most people are really respectful of my space and if they do come up to talk I will happily have a conversation with them because I’m just so grateful that they want to speak to me. I’ll always give my time to people from my hometown because my hometown is what got me here.

M&C: The last time we talked, you said that you felt you were becoming more comfortable in your own skin. Has that continued?  

CT: I feel like American Idol helped my baseline confidence definitely go up, but it is something that continues every month. Sometimes you’re going to wake up, you’re going to have acne because of your hormones and you’re not going to feel very comfortable in your own skin.  

The baseline level of how I feel about myself has definitely gone up from before the show and now post-Idol life. I rely on myself more, I know at the end of the day even if my voice isn’t feeling 100 percent or I’m having those natural insecurities, I know I can still get it done and I can still do it. I think American Idol definitely instilled that confidence in me.

M&C: You have met a lot of celebrities over the years. Anybody in the last couple of years that made you a little starstruck?

CT: I met Avril Lavigne. That was pretty cool because that was somebody who I really looked up to growing up. There are always people to see in LA. But I don’t really talk to them a lot. I get weird imposter syndrome and I just don’t go up to them.

M&C: What is it like to not only have local and national fans but to hear from people in Europe, Fiji, Bangladesh, and elsewhere?

CT: I think it’s just crazy. That’s what I can really say about it, just like a good crazy, it’s almost hard to process. Even just exploring the country and seeing how big it is and how much of the country I’ve never really seen before, it’s almost hard to imagine, like wow that there are people in Amsterdam or Paris who know my music. I just can’t even process that.

Wow, all these places in the world I’ve never even seen or really only thought about in relation to my history book. There are real people who just know who I am. It’s yeah, crazy in the best way possible. 

M&C: What has the current tour been like?

CT: It has definitely been something a little bit of a challenge in actually getting the band in order and the planning and the details. This is my first tour where I have a band behind me and I have to move and not rely so much on the guitar. I think mentally, it’s been more of a challenge having to teach myself like, ‘wow, you can’t just stand in one place on the stage.’ I have to get into the song. I think I was using the guitar somewhat as a shield and now that I don’t have it as much it’s been a fun challenge.

M&C: Since your current month-long tour ended on June 30, what’s next?

CT: Well-deserved sleep for like a day and then releasing a new single Before He Cheats on July 1. And then just grinding again and really writing music I’m proud of and hopefully getting out an album.

Ryan Holland, Catie Turner, and Patch Mahoney
Ryan Holland, Catie Turner, and Patch Mahoney. Pic Credit: Amanda Elman.

M&C: Tell me about the new single.

CT: Stepmom, my new single, talks about how I had this fantasy to get back at an ex, that isn’t like Before He Cheats like Carrie Underwood, where I’m slashing tires and taking a Louisville slugger to both headlights. 

It’s more like I’m going to marry your father and become your stepmom so I can ruin your life from the inside out. Bringing those elements in where people are like, “What?”  But at the end of the day, they know it’s like that’s just Catie being Catie.

M&C: How would you describe your music and your performance style?

CT: A mix of heart and humor. In the process of discovering my sound, I want to stay true to what attracted people to my music, which was acoustic songs full of honesty and heart. But now it’s kind of also bringing in the other facet of my personality, which is humor. I love to joke around; I love to poke fun at things. My sound is kind of becoming more of a balancing act of all sides of my personality.  

M&C: Is there any time when you’re not performing or sleeping or writing that you get to stream something on Netflix or Amazon or you get to go to the movies? Is there free time? And how do you spend it?

CT: I love watching Stranger Things. That’s my favorite show right now. I like watching The Boys on Prime Video, too. Not a family-friendly show by any means. In my free time, I love being on Pinterest. It’s like social media without the social part. I just get to look at pretty things and add them to my board. I like hanging out with friends.  

M&C: Is this the same group as before Idol?

CT: It’s a whole collection of people I’m lucky to have a lot of people in my life who I love and support and they give me the same love and support. The same group of people back at home in Philadelphia and then making new friends in LA.

Catie Turner
Catie Turner. Pic Credit: Amanda Elman.

M&C: How has your style changed? I still remember your patent leather boots in a variety of colors.

CT: Oh, it’s still just as crazy, wacky, and colorful. I love experimenting. Colors are so much fun. Life is too short to only wear grey and black.

M&C: What is your best advice for somebody who wants to try out for Idol or be a performer or just do something in a tough business?  

CT: Always trust your gut and what you want to do first because usually, that is the right answer. It’s the answer you have and the answer you want before you think about everyone else’s opinions and then it gets in your head. It really is such cliché advice, but the only reason it’s cliché and repeated is because it’s true

It is about yourself because being on Idol there are so many people that come through and what’s – being yourself, it’s the bravest thing you can do. I say that’s my best advice before thinking about what song is most likely to get me through, is this belt-y enough, is this outfit cool enough, take all of the thinking for other people away and pick what you would do if you didn’t care about the opinions of others. That is usually the best and the right way.

M&C: Looking back over the past year or two are you still pinching yourself that you’ve accomplished so much?

CT: It’s something that, admittedly, I think I should learn how to take my own advice sometimes because it’s really easy. I’m the friend that can give advice but sometimes not take it. Sometimes I’m always about ‘go, go, go’ and so concerned with am I doing enough, am I doing this right, where am I supposed to be, blah, blah, blah that I’m not having enough of those moments where I really sit in the feeling of ‘damn I actually have done a lot.’

M&C: What do you want the future to look like?

CT: Happy, colorful, and always with a lot of laughs.

M&C: What message do you want to give to your fans who have been with you through this whole ride, Idol, and now coming to concerts and waiting for your new singles?  

CT: I would say thank you so much for sticking around and watching me grow. They feel like friends and family at this point instead of fans. I hope that they continue to stick around and watch me grow and see where I’ll go. They’ve already done so much, and I thank them for that. It is an amazing ride!

Check out Catie Turner’s post-American Idol life and current singing/songwriting journey at

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