What do Carrie Underwood, Morgan Wallen, Chris Stapleton and Spartanburg’s Caleb Kennedy have in common? They are all the top 5 artists in the country music genre on iTunes as of Wednesday afternoon.

Kennedy’s new EP is No. 4 in the county genre and No. 15 among all genres.

Not too shabby considering this time last year he was scribbling his song lyrics on the back of his assignments in Mrs. Pate’s 9th grade math class at the Dorman Freshman Campus.

“A year ago, Caleb was sitting in my room nervous about entering the talent show here, and now he’s on American Idol,” Pate said.  

Kennedy has been gaining recognition on American Idol since auditioning in November 2020 and is now in the top 24 on the show. He earned his place in the top 24 with an original song “When You Leave Tonight.” In fact, Kennedy has more of his original songs than covers during his time on the show.

Kennedy released four of his original songs across Extended Play platforms today.

  • “It’ll Catch Up With Me Someday”
  • “I Miss My Buddies”
  • “Nowhere”
  • “Why Did You Leave Like That”