Perhaps it is her calming presence, the sincerity of her lyrics, or her amiable character, but nothing can deny the likable personality of Kimberly Caldwell. As her career continues to blossom, Kimberly has not lost sight of life’s most precious gifts. Known as the American Idol alum, reality TV host, and actress/model, I discovered Kimberly as a caring daughter, beloved friend, and philanthropist. Whether working on her upcoming album, interviewing celebrities, acting, singing, or even just relaxing, Kimberly always seems to outshine others. This is not done intentionally, but Kimberly just has that presence: Her true talent cannot be hidden.
Although fame in the entertainment business is rare and challenging, Kimberly has embraced her popularity with an open heart, mind, and spirit. What you will find in her is truly organic.
Wanting to know more about her career, future ventures, and thoughts on Idol, I decided to give Kimberly a call. With that, Lifted Magazine is honored to present Kimberly Caldwell.
Moreno: Thank you Kimberly for joining me today. After reviewing your impressive resume and credentials, I must ask - How are you able to manage your busy schedule?
Caldwell: It definitely gets hectic and a little overwhelming at times, but I’m kind of addicted to work. So, I just try to take it one day at a time and every day is a new adventure in my crazy life.
Moreno: In terms of entertainment, the public has seen you as a singer/entertainer, model, actress, television host, etc. Where did these interests of yours originate?
Caldwell: Since I was the ripe age of 5 years old, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I always wanted to be a singer and have sung in front of large audiences and in front of my mirror since I can remember. After American Idol, so many doors opened up for me, in different parts of the industry, that I had no idea singing could lead to all of these amazing new creative ways of expressing myself.
Moreno: Kimberly, I always ask this question of my guests; I think it’s important to learn from others about different ways to deal with stress. How do you personally deal with negativity? How did you deal with the judges’ comments during your Idol journey?
Caldwell: The judges were very supportive and helpful and most of the time, very constructive. I made a promise to myself that then and now, I’ll just block out any of the negativity from other people because life’s too short to be worried about what everybody else thinks and you just can’t please everybody. Anyone in the entertainment industry should spend their energy focusing on their true fans. I’ve learned that you should keep the people who have always loved you and who will always love you as close as possible. They’re the ones who will tell you the truth and keep you grounded and unconditionally love you. And, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
Moreno: Well said. Outside your impressive entertainment career, what are some of your non-career related goals?
Caldwell: I would love to be able to be influential enough to speak out to troubled teens at some point and hopefully make a difference. I was once, myself, a troubled teen and know how hard it is. I most definitely, without a doubt, want to be a Mom! If I wasn’t an entertainer, I would have been a teacher. I love children and if I could, I’d have and/or adopt 100 of them! And, if Mr. Right jumps in the picture along the way, that would be a bonus.
Moreno: Do you ever become nostalgic of your American Idol journey when hosting Idol Chat?
Caldwell: Every day, I’m just so thankful that I have great memories to look back on and I’m so proud and honored to have been part of such a popular and well-respected show. Sometimes it seems like yesterday and sometimes I feel like, “Wow, was that really even me that did that?”
Moreno: Who has impressed you the most during this season of American Idol? Why?
Caldwell: Just like everybody else, I’m a big Blake Lewis fan. He has definitely broken the mold of the typical American Idol. He’s a true performer and original.
I can’t believe that Jordin Sparks is only 17! Whether she’s 7 or 75, that girl can SING! I’d buy her album tomorrow.
And, Melinda is consistently flawless. What else can I say?
Moreno: I hear you have a new album coming out. Care to comment on the type of genre your music will reflect?
Caldwell: It’s definitely going to be country-rock. It’s more edgy and more me, and right now, I’m so lucky to be working with John Rich of Big & Rich, who’s producing my new album. He explains the funky, in-your-face sound and vibe as “unapologetic.”
Moreno: Sounds great. Be sure to keep us posted.
There is something purely unique about you. You have this wonderful charisma and personality that puts people at ease around you. In your opinion, what is it that separates you from other entertainers?
Caldwell: Thank you so much for that compliment! I think that most people are at ease around me because I’m just a real girl. Just like everybody else, I had my ups and I had my downs. I’ve had some really rough days and I’ve had some really great days. I try to live without regret and know that my mistakes make me who I am. That’s why I feel like I can really connect with my fans.
Moreno: What is the hardest part about your job? Not so much your entertainment events, but being in the public eye and being a celebrity?
Caldwell: Definitely the hardest part of my everyday life is that I don’t get to live close to my Mom and the rest of my family and friends in Texas. I really can’t gripe too much because I actually enjoy the positive support and love what I get from being recognized. But I would say that the most challenging part of being in the public eye is that you really have to watch every move that you make because when you sign up to be in the entertainment business, you have to realize that you may just be a role model for someone out there.
Moreno: Yes, that is so true. It’s nice to hear a young Hollywood celebrity acknowledge her influence on others. That being said, what did you learn about yourself while on Idol?
Caldwell: I learned that I can go a really long time without eating or sleeping! And, that when it comes down to it, I really can control my nerves if I need to because being on that show definitely prepared me mentally and emotionally for the unknown journey I was about to embark on.
Moreno: How do you determine or evaluate success?
Caldwell: I think everybody has to determine their own level of success within themselves. I think as long as you do the best that you can, at whatever you take on in life, whether it be attempting to be the best basket-weaver in the world or winning a Grammy, it’s all about giving it all you’ve got and having no regrets about what could have been.
Moreno: Could you tell us what two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction and why?
Caldwell: Being in the top 10 on American Idol and taking the opportunities that came my way. For those reasons, I’m now financially able to have my little sister live out here in California with me. And, I’m so proud of my brand new house! I’m so excited I can barely stand it. I never thought that at the age of 25 that my sister and I would be living in Los Angeles, in what may not be a mansion, but in our eyes is the perfect home!
Moreno: That is definitely something to be proud of.
What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
Caldwell: I would love to have put out an album or two and be touring the world doing live shows and hopefully start acting a little more. I also hope to be on my way of starting a family of my own. And, in five years, I hope that I’m lying on a lake in Texas during my down time.
Moreno: In comparison with other rising artists, you have reached much success. Has that changed you?
Caldwell: Thank you! I am proud of the success that I’ve been able to achieve, but I’m certainly nowhere near my goals yet. Have I changed? My Mama would never let that happen. My family and I are extremely close and one slip up from me, and I’m brought right back down to earth…real quick. I’m so thankful to have people that are so honest and just love me for the goofy, out-of-control character that I am.
Moreno: Who do you think will win Idol? C’mon, just admit it . . .
Caldwell: I really don’t have a clue! In other seasons, there’s been an obvious front-runner. But this year, I really think it’s going to be between Melinda, Blake, and Jordin. They are all so talented and any of them would be deserving of the title.
Moreno: Do you keep in contact with the other Idol contestants?
Caldwell: Since Idol, I’ve been very fortunate to actually perform with a lot of the other former finalists from my season as well as from the other seasons. I’ve done shows with Ruben, Trenyce, John Peter Lewis, Ace Young, and Lisa Tucker to name a few. I’m now co-hosting with Justin Guarini on the TV Guide Channel and we also have some upcoming performances scheduled together. Also, we have former finalists on our shows, Idol Tonight and Idol Chat, so that gives me a chance to catch up with what’s going on in some of their lives.
Moreno: What advice would you give to those who seek to mimic your career? What have you learned from your mistakes, if any, that you can share?
Caldwell: Take every opportunity that comes your way so when you wake up in ten years you can say, “I gave it my best!” I think that all of the mistakes I’ve made are really just learning experiences that have helped mold who I am as an entertainer and as a person. Live with no regrets.
Moreno: Everyone seems to be Malakrazy! What’s your take on Mr. Sanjaya?
Caldwell: I think that Sanjaya’s going to be one of the most recognizable names ever on American Idol and I’m sure we’ll see him on tons of hair commercials and teeth whitening ads.
Moreno: Your website is full of comments from your fans. Any message to them?
Caldwell: I wouldn’t be doing this without them. Besides my family, they are my everything! The unconditional support and love that I receive on a day-to-day basis really keeps me driven and motivated every day to strive to be the best I can be, not only for myself but for them as well.
Moreno: In terms of success and future entertainment gigs, what are you not willing to compromise on?
Caldwell: Everybody has their own personal boundaries and limits set for themselves. I’m not willing to compromise who I am in general, as a person. I will always be edgy, I will always play dangerously, and I will, hopefully, always be portrayed as a strong and independent woman. And, as long as I feel like I’m empowering people in general to know that if I can do it, then they can too, then I will feel like I’ve done my job. Never sacrifice who you are for a paycheck, because a paycheck comes and goes but your soul is with you forever.
For more information about Kimberly’s upcoming events/ventures please visit www.kimberly-caldwell.com