By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | December 7, 2021
To “American Idol” season 16 winner Maddie Poppe, Christmas is all about family.
“Being with family has always been so important to me,” Poppe says. “I had never left home (before ‘American Idol’). Since I’ve left home and saw the world, knowing that I get to come back for the holidays is always something (that gets me) excited.”
Poppe will make holiday memories in North Phoenix when she brings her acoustic Christmas show to the Musical Instrument Museum on Friday, December 10.
It’s part of her two-year mission to brighten the holiday season. She released a holiday EP in November 2020 called “Christmas from Home” and followed it with her Acoustic Christmas Tour. The successful jaunt yielded an expanded tour this year.
“Last year, we did an Iowa run,” says Poppe, who hails from Clarksville, Iowa. “This year, we decided to expand it out to the rest of the United States. There are 18 cities, and we’re really excited about it. Last year, I did it on my own. This year, I have a keyboard player with me.”
Since Poppe won “American Idol,” her life has been a whirlwind. Her aptly named last album, “Whirlwind,” reached No. 2 on the iTunes Pop Charts, and her hit single “Made You Miss” earned No. 19 on the Hot AC Radio Charts.
Her sentimental ballad “Not Losing You” also swept radio charts, reaching No. 17. She has appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “Live! with Kelly & Ryan,” to name a few, and has performed at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and CMA Fest in Nashville.
In fall 2019, Poppe supported Ingrid Michaelson on The Dramatic Tour, an experience she calls “a dream come true.”
Poppe is preparing to release new music in early 2022. Formerly based in LA, Poppe moved her songwriting base to Nashville, which she enjoys. She describes the sound as acoustic R&B, straying from her singer-songwriter roots.
“I’m finding some people here who I really mesh with and I’m excited to work with,” she says about Nashville. “The music is going to be an exciting new chapter and a new me. It’s a sound I always hoped I would find for myself, but I didn’t know if I would. I’m really excited and proud to share it with everyone.”
Penning songs with new writers can be daunting.
“I remember some of the first co-writes I ever did,” she says. “I was so vulnerable. I thought, ‘What if they don’t like my ideas? What if they can’t relate?’ Within the first half hour in the writing session, you know if it’s going to be successful or not. Based on how you mesh with the person in the session is really important to the song.”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 10
WHERE: Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix
COST: Tickets start at $30
INFO: 480-478-6000, mim.org