Bo Bice was catapulted to national fame on the Fox talent show “American Idol.”

He finished second in 2005 to Carrie Underwood, and has been a touring and recording musician ever since. He’s had some hit singles on the country charts (“Inside Your Heaven” and “The Real Thing”), his debut album hit No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and went gold, and he has toured the world.

Now Bice would like to keep building on the boost “Idol” gave him.

But maybe not in the way you’d think.

“I used to work in a guitar store, giving guitar lessons, and I’d like to go back to doing some of that,” said Bice, 36, from his home in Nashville. “I’d like to open like a school of rock, for kids and adults.”

So no acting career for Bo Bice? No aspiration to do movies or have a TV show?

“At this point, I don’t do anything my heart isn’t in,” he said. “What is success? Having a No. 1 song? To me, it’s being able to do the music I love, but I have other things I want to accomplish.”

For now, Bice is still working hard as a touring musician. He’ll be playing The Landing at Pine Point in Scarborough on Wednesday.

Besides expanding his career, he also has an expanding family in Nashville — three children under age 7 and a fourth on the way in the spring.

So while he tours and records, Bice says he always tries to make time for charity work. He wants to use the platform that success has given him to help others. He’s appeared on the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual telethon. He’s also done work for the Wounded Warrior Project, and has performed for troops around the world.

“To me, it doesn’t matter what you think of wars, but when someone puts their life on the line for our freedom, they deserve a pat on the back,” he said.

Bice considers Alabama his home but lived all over the world as a child, because his father worked for Coca-Cola in various locations. Until settling in Nashville about seven years ago, the one spot he had lived longest was London, as a teenager.

As a youngster, Bice was influenced heavily by Southern rock bands — and you can hear that in his sound — but also by artists ranging from Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin to Jim Croce and James Taylor.

Bice had been working as a musician playing bars and clubs at night — and working at a music store by day — for almost 15 years when he got his star shot on “American Idol.”

He continues to be thankful for the way “Idol” allowed him to make performing his full-time career.

“I’m very grateful for ‘Idol.’ I feel very blessed for what it did for me,” said Bice. “I was doing this for 15 years before I got on ‘Idol,’ and now I have a very clear idea of what overnight success really is.”

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]


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