Former American Idol winner Scotty McCreery reveals Jennifer Lopez is 'down to earth' and 'very sweet'

By Nicole Sands
March 15, 2018 06:25 PM
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Scotty McCreery has nothing but “Amor, Amor, Amor” for former American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez.

The country singer, who won the tenth season of the reality television singing competition series, sat down with PEOPLE Now to discuss his latest projects and opened up about making a lasting impression on the “very sweet” superstar back in her judging days.

“The last time we were out in L.A., it was a bunch of us old idols and alum, and we were hanging out and waiting on Jennifer to film something,” he says. “She walked in the room — I was on the opposite side — and she locked eyes and said ‘Oh hey, baby!’ And she came over and gave me a hug and we just hung out for a little bit.”

McCreery, 24, says he always admired how humble she was while starring on the show.

“She’s sweet,” he says. “She’s so down to earth, as much as a diva as she is on TV and everything, she always has her mom with her. I was like ‘She’s so normal, but she’s so cool.'”

There’s another woman, however, who truly holds the “Five More Minutes” singer’s heart — his fiancée Gabi Dugal.

“She’s my rock and she’s my biggest cheerleader, but she’s also like my biggest humbler, if you could say that,” says McCreery. “I can come home from a number-one album or three sold-out shows in a row on the road and she’ll say ‘Go take out the trash.’ She’s good for me in that aspect. She’s just always there for me — doesn’t matter how the career life’s going.”

On Sept. 26, McCreery popped the question to his high school sweetheart in North Carolina during a mid-day hike in a special spot they frequent every time they go up into the mountains about 200 miles northwest of their hometown of Garner, a Raleigh suburb.

RELATED: Scotty McCreery on Why His New Album ‘Seasons Change’ Is ‘Like Therapy’

“She thought it was just gonna be a me-and-her weekend in the mountains just hanging out, but I had planned for her family to meet us, my family to meet us … her sister lives in Oklahoma and I had flown her in to meet us, so we got back and she just completely freaked out and lost it and was crying,” he says.

However, the surprise didn’t stop there. Once the tears stopped flowing, McCreery brought them gushing once again when he shared a recording of what is now his latest single, “This Is It.” The song about his engagement to Dugal is off his new album, Seasons Change.

“Once that all kind of settled down, I sat her down and said, ‘Well, I wrote a song for this and for you,’ and played it for the whole family. There were tears again. So that was her first time hearing it,” he adds.

While McCreery kicks back and enjoys his engagement bliss, he admits Dugal is doing “all the heavy lifting” when it comes to wedding planning. But he’s not shy about offering his two cents in one major area: catering.

“Instead of having [just] a big wedding cake…for all the guests we’re gonna have Southern pies like apple pie and chocolate chess pie and different stuff like that,” he says. “I can help with that, and getting all the wines straight. So we’re getting there.”

Taking a page from past weddings he’s attended, McCreery hopes to relieve a little wedding day stress with a nice game of pre-aisle golf.

“[Gabi’s] cousin got married last year in Louisiana and her husband played golf the day of their wedding, so I was like, ‘That’s a great idea,'” he says. “I think I might play a little golf the morning of, just to kind of take my mind of off things. I’m sure I’ll be nervous.”