Four months almost to the date, I was shopping with my cousin at the Northshore Mall and bumped into Angie Miller and her mother, Tana. This was before the American Idol fame hit hard and before the performance of her original song You Set Me Free that put Angie, the multi-talented teenager from Beverly on everyone’s radar as a national pop star.
Over the past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Angie and her family on a more personal level. When we sat down recently to discuss Angie’s journey with American Idol, her homecoming and plans for the future, she wanted to backtrack first to thank her hometown for their support. She plopped in the chair next to me and said, “It’s good to be home. I am so proud to be from the Beverly, Boston and the Massachusetts area. I am so proud to be able to represent where I am from, especially with everything that happened during the show [in reference to the Marathon Bombings]. I am just so glad to be from here.”
Angie opened up her heart and shared her thoughts about her hometown, the support she received, the plans for her future and how she managed to stay focused during the pressure and stress of being an American Idol contestant. During our interview she remained humble and charming, showing glimpses of a teenager who was awestruck in meeting her idol Jessie J, then becoming serious and talking about what being an idol means to her.
From the “Beverly Loves Angie” signs that flooded the city, business promos encouraging people to come in, watch and vote, various rallies, plenitude of homemade yard signs and messages of support in store windows, “Angie Fever” was everywhere.
But was she aware of the local support as she progressed through the competition? “We really are in the American Idol bubble. The only thing we see is social media and what my family and friends send to me, other than that we don’t get out, we don’t see it.” She pulled out her phone and showed me a saved text message from a Beverly High School student and former classmate: “…you have done more than just become a star, you have brought people together and created unity of people, you have united people for a common cause, Ange you are making a difference and I want to thank you for it.” Angie shared, “after a rough week that text meant so much.”
In response to all those local supporters and fans, she said, “Oh my goodness. Thank you! I have watched the show for years and I watched people have that kind of support and I thought, ‘I hope one day I can go on the show and have my own hometown visit.’” Angie further stated, “Then I remember this one week in the competition, where I noticed this was really starting to happen. It was so beautiful when you realize it. That meant so much.” When I asked her about the hometown concert at Beverly High School, she said, “I will never forget that concert and that feeling on the stage. I wanted to jump out in the crowd and say hi to every single person. It was so unreal.”
Angie’s father, Guy, and her mother also thanked local businesses, specifically Todd’s Sporting Goods, Beverly Cooperative Bank and Thomas Ford for their contributions. “Our trips to LA were also made possible by the Assemblies of God USA and two anonymous friends who made generous donations. In addition, we want to thank the Salem News for giving Angela such fantastic coverage. Thank you to the citizens of Beverly for their friendly and enthusiastic support of our daughter Angela.”
Shortly Angie will hop on a plane and head back to LA to rehearse for the American Idol tour that starts mid-July. “I am really excited for the Boston, 2 Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire shows, said Angie. “It is so close, they all feel like my hometown. I hope I get to see a lot of people from here who supported me.” The thankful pop star continued, “I want to thank everyone. I can’t wait to see everybody on the tour, I can’t wait to see their support for my next album I am so excited for the future!”
No matter where Angie’s journey takes her, she will have the continued support of the local community and in turn she will never forget those that helped launch it. “I never want to be known as the person who just has music, I always wanted to make music that has a meaning and purpose and lots of heart in it.” And that message will propel our local starlet into the future.
Stay tuned for my next post on Angie’s plans for after Idol. Here is a sneak preview: Angie has yet to sign a record deal but is so happy to have signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Group.
Images Courtesy of Social Palates Photography