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He loves her ‘This Big’ – Scotty McCreery to wed longtime girlfriend

American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, right, jokes with his friends Ava Taylor-Mumford, left, and Gabi Dugal, center, while filming a scene in his music video for the new song "The Trouble with Girls" Saturday October 1, 2011 at Garner High School.
American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, right, jokes with his friends Ava Taylor-Mumford, left, and Gabi Dugal, center, while filming a scene in his music video for the new song "The Trouble with Girls" Saturday October 1, 2011 at Garner High School. News & Observer

For country star Scotty McCreery, the only trouble with girls at the moment is wedding dress designs and honeymoon spots. The “American Idol” winner and Garner native will wed longtime girlfriend Gabi Dugal.

McCreery popped the question Tuesday on a trail near Grandfather Mountain, dropping to one knee with the Blue Ridge for a backdrop.

“I’ve been planning this moment for so long that it feels surreal for it to have finally happened,” the singer said in a news release. “Gabi is the perfect girl and my true love, and I cannot wait to begin building our life together as husband and wife.”

Dugal, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, works as a pediatric cardiac nurse at Duke University Hospital. The two met in kindergarten in Garner, where Dugal reportedly wrote Mrs. Gabi McCreery on a heart-decorated diary.

The two began dating six years ago during senior year at Garner High School.

Dugal flirts with McCreery in his “The Trouble With Girls” music video – shot at Garner High.

In his 2016 book “Go Big or Go Home,” McCreery writes of his own “trouble” with Dugal when, after weeks of talking and texting, he remained unclear whether they were, in fact, dating.

“The trouble with girls is they’re always two steps ahead of us guys. ... The trouble with boys is they’re a bit clueless,” he writes.

He later met her face to face in the student parking lot at the school and asked whether she wanted to make their relationship official. She said yes that time, and again on Tuesday.

Since winning the 10th season of the Fox TV show “American Idol” in 2011, McCreery’s singles have included “I Love You This Big,” “The Trouble With Girls,” “See You Tonight,” “Water Town Town,” “Feelin’ It” and his current hit, “Five More Minutes.” The personal song, in which he recounts life moments including the death of his grandfather, has been No. 1 on GAC-TV’s “Great American Top 20 Countdown” for six weeks.

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