Keeping his priorities “damn straight.” Scotty McCreery may have five consecutive No. 1 hits on Billboard, but the country crooner has had to adjust his outlook on his career since welcoming son Merrick “Avery” in October 2022 with wife Gabi Dugal McCreery.

“The power of saying ‘no’ to some things is becoming a big thing for me,” the singer, who recently teamed up with UScellular for their Locally Grown, Locally live music campaign, explained. “Realizing, ‘Hey man, you’re a father now.’ I wanna be there for my kid and we’re still busy, I’m still working my tail off, but we’re not saying ‘yes’ to everything like I used to always do. I gotta have time with my kid, I gotta have time with my family. So, that has changed a lot.”

One change McCreery plans to make in the near future is converting his tour bus into a “baby” bus for his upcoming 35-city tour.

Gabi Dugal and Scotty McCreery arrive at the 55th annual CMA Awards
Ed Rode/AP/Shutterstock

“One of the bunks is now a crib ­­­— where he can’t roll out. We try to bring all his stuff from home out there on the road too, so his toys and his mats, so, he kind of has those same smells and sounds and sights that he gets in his nursery too,” he told Us. “I love the road, but I do get to miss home. I get to miss him, the wife, so, this is selfishly, it’s huge for me and hopefully for them too, that we all get to hang together and have a year together on the road.”

Avery, who is now 5 months, is already taking after his dad in some ways.

“I hum to him nonstop. I can’t stop singing, he seems like he’s trying to go along with me,” he said, gushing. “Maybe at some point, down the road, he can join Daddy for a duet, I see a little music in him, for sure.”

As for date night with his high-school sweetheart, Gabi, McCreery admits they have to “work at it more” than they used to.

“I feel like our times are crazy right now in all the best ways, you know? The last four or five months have been incredible just watching our little boy grow,” he recalled. “We’ve had one [date] since having Avery. The grandparents came over and watched him while we went out to eat and, it was just nice. We love to eat and love to drink a nice glass of wine. I think we were both enjoying the time away, but we’re also wanting to get back to Avery.”

Scotty McCreery on Becoming a Dad
Courtesy of Scotty McCreery/Instagram

McCreery kicked off UScellular’s “Locally Grown, Locally Live” on March 27 to showcase prominent recording artists and the people and places that have shaped who they are today.

“I think me and UScellular see eye to eye on what hometowns mean and what they can do for you,” the North Carolina native shared. “My hometown Garner was humongous for me right from the start and supported me through and through. It gave me the confidence to go outside of the hometown and try to expand. With “Locally Grown, Locally Live,” it’s the power of music and the power of hometowns put together and it’s perfect for me.”

Scotty McCreery on Becoming a Dad
Courtesy of Scotty McCreery/Instagram

For more info on how to engage with McCreery during his “Ask Me Anything” Instagram Live on April 5, and how to connect with other artists involved, visit here.

Mandie DeCamp

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