BY Ross von Metzke
March 22 2010 6:50 PM ET
What has been your most surprising fan encounter?
I’ve had some really great ones. Judy Shepard, which was really cool. It’s all really surreal to me. I did this show and afterward Charlize Theron came up and gave me this bear hug and said, “You were amazing.” I can’t believe this is my life because, as a kid in Utah, these weren’t things you got to dream about. I didn’t even have these dreams, I was just depressed. I’m still taken aback.
I had a woman whose son killed himself, and she came to my show ... he was a musician, and she brought a picture, and he looked just like me. I don’t know how she heard about me, but she said, “He’s living through you.” I get really choked up just talking about it, because I didn’t do anything ... I’m just grateful that I could give her some way to feel connected to him. It’s things like that ... it’s great to meet famous people, but ... if something I do can touch people on that level, that’s amazing.
And what about your mom? Since she’s the one who really sparked your passion in music, how does she respond to all of your success?
She’s so thrilled by it. She’s so proud. The only thing I can’t have is her sitting in the front row. She starts crying every time. And my brother starts crying. And then I start crying. And then my pitch goes flat (laughs). Literally, first note. All my siblings I’m really close with, and my mom… for having such a challenging situation growing up, it made us attached at the hip. People think my brother and I are a couple… we hold hands walking down the street (laughs). I’m really blessed.