Lauren Alaina Suddeth is just months into her stardom, but on Saturday she looked like an old hand.
The "American Idol" finalist and Rossville native drew nearly 10,000 fans to Chattanooga's Coolidge Park on Saturday. At Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School, where Suddeth attended classes before the show began in February, fans packed the football stadium and lined several miles of Battlefield Parkway just to get a glimpse of the local girl made good.
"We always knew she could sing; she would burst out into random songs in class all the time," said Molly Follett, 16, who has attended classes with Suddeth since second grade. "I knew she would be famous if she went for it."
Even when she arrived late with a slew of flashing cameras, flanked by video crews, fans eagerly waited up to three hours to hear her perform.
"She's really busy, but the songs were really good," said Liz Labbe, 11, of Chattanooga, who waited about six hours for a free concert in Coolidge Park. "It was really sweet that she dedicated the second song to the tornado victims."