CLARKSVILLE — More than 10,000 people filled the Butler County Fairgrounds grandstands in Allison Tuesday night to welcome home Clarksville native Maddie Poppe.
Poppe, one of three contestants left on ABC’s “American Idol”, was celebrated in a parade through her home town before taking center stage about 10 miles west and singing several songs she’s performed on the show.
Poppe says her dreams continue to become reality. “I never in a million years felt this would happen,” Poppe say, “I feel like I’ve been told ‘no’ so many times that I wasn’t prepared to hear ‘yes.’ So many times, and this is just so incredible.”
Poppe spoke to the audience detailing her career as a musician which at one point, according to her mother Tonya, faced some uncertainty. Tonya says they were sitting in her office a couple years ago trying to decide what Maddie’s backup plan would be if music didn’t work out.
A few years later Tonya says her husband saw that American Idol was asking for auditions. “And she decided what did she have to lose, and I am going to try this again,” Tonya says.
Droves of fans from Iowa, neighboring states, and even Africa held signs showing support for their favorite American Idol.
One of those fans in the crowd was Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. “If you dream big and work hard those dreams will come true and she embodies that,” Reynolds says. “Think of all the little girls and young people out in this audience that are seeing her chase her dream and seeing those dreams come true. So now matter where you live, you can come from a teeny, tiny town — I come from St. Charles, population 500 — it doesn’t get much smaller than that And I talk about that a lot and I believe that’s what exists within our borders.”
Governor Reynolds will sign a proclamation today establishing Sunday, May 20th as Maddie Poppe Day in the state of Iowa. Governor Reynolds hopes the proclamation encourages Iowans to vote for Maddie Poppe as the next American Idol. Poppe dedicated the song, “Landslide,” to her hometown of Clarksville. Footage from last night’s parade and concert will be aired Sunday night during American Idol on ABC.