Gabby Barrett, an 18-year-old country singer from Munhall, Pennsylvania, didn’t want to be on “American Idol” at first.
But her dad, Blaise, changed her mind.
“He said, ‘Do it,’ ” Barrett recalled in a phone interview. “ ‘You don’t know how far you’re going to get.’ ”
Dad was right.
Barrett finished third on the 16th season of “American Idol” and is performing with six other finalists, including winner Maddie Poppe, on the 40-city “American Idol: Live!” tour, which is making its only stop in Washington on Aug. 28 at the 110th Evergreen State Fair in Monroe.
Though she’s eager to pursue her solo career and fulfill her ambitions of becoming the “next Whitney Houston of country music,” Barrett said that competing on “American Idol” changed her life.
She became friends with her idol, Carrie Underwood, played in front of millions of people and even started dating one of her fellow contestants, Cade Foehner (He tied for fourth).
In October, she’s going on tour with country singer Chris Lane and social media sensation Mason Ramsey, known as the “Yodeling Kid.”
“I learned something throughout the process,” Barrett said. “Going in, I guess I was expecting for it to be easy. It wasn’t that at all. No matter how prepared you are for something, you’ll always be challenged. I’ll take that through the rest of my career.”
Other finalists at the fair will include runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Catie Turner and Jurnee Siani, who tied for sixth; Michael J. Woodward, who tied with Foehner for fourth. They’ll be joined by rock and soul singer Kris Allen, who won season eight of “American Idol” in 2009.
Season 16 winner Poppe will sing original pop and folk songs, while the rest of the finalists will perform covers of pop, country, folk and rock music.
“We’re excited in general that it’s a nationally loved thing,” said Shannon Hays, spokeswoman for the fair.
The Evergreen State Fair, which runs through Sept. 3, features five consecutive days of live music.
The Roots and Boots Tour — featuring longtime country artists Sammy Kershaw, Collin Raye and Aaron Tippin — kicks off the concert series Aug. 27. All together, the trio has landed nearly 90 Top 40 singles on Billboard’s country charts.
Classic rock tribute band Spike and The Impalers play Aug. 29. The band, formed over a decade ago by Seattle radio station host Bob Rivers, perform songs by Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, The Who and other rock legends.
Country musicians Randy Houser and Michael Ray will share the stage Aug. 30.
Two of Houser’s tracks have reached No. 1 on Billboard’s country singles chart, including “How Country Feels” and “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” while “Like a Cowboy” was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2015 Country Music Association Awards.
Ray’s debut single, “Kiss You in the Morning,” reached No. 1 on Country Airplay in 2015, while he also won “The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep,” a singing competition broadcast on The CW in 2012.
Capping off the concert series is Christian rock band Skillet from Memphis on Aug. 31. Two of the band’s 10 albums, “Collide” and “Comatose,” received Grammy nods. John Cooper, who founded the band in 1996, is the only original member who is still performing.
Evan Thompson: 360-544-2999, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @evanthompson_1.
If you go
What: Evergreen State Fair’s concert series
Where: Evergreen State Fairgrounds, 14405 179th Ave. SE, Monroe
When: Aug. 27-31
Tickets: $16 to $40
Evergreen State Fair
Here is the Snohomish County fair’s concert schedule:
7:30 p.m.: The Roots and Boots Tour
7:30 p.m.: “American Idol: Live!”
7:30 p.m.: Spike and The Impalers
7 p.m.: Randy Houser with Michael Ray
7:30 p.m. Skillet
10:30 a.m.: Siggie The Vintage Man
1:45 p.m.: Marlin James Trio
6 p.m.: Dakota Neuman
10:30 a.m.: Sunday Speed Trap
11:45 a.m.: Under The Radar
12:45 p.m.: Douglas County Daughters
3:15 p.m.: America’s First Corps Band
4:45 p.m.: The Fentons
6:15 p.m.: Monroe Concert Band
9 p.m.: Bethany Ames
11:30 a.m.: Under The Radar
12:30 p.m.: Marina and The Dreamboats
2 p.m.: The Shed Players
6:15 p.m.: The Fentons
7:30 p.m.: Maddex
8:45 p.m. Bachelor #4
10:45 a.m.: Sunday Speed Trap
11:45 a.m.: Bethany Ames
1 p.m.: Erandolin Strings Celtic Band
4:15 p.m.: Second Hand Newz
5:45 p.m.: Corrina Roppo
7 p.m.: Stop The Panic
8:30 p.m.: Joe Fina Four
Noon: Monroe Tiny Jazz Orchestra
1:30 p.m.: Todd & Jeff