For more than 15 years, John “Ricky” Glover has driven a front-loader servicing commercial customers for Waste Management in Hilton Head, S.C. It’s often a thankless, nameless job. But this year, co-workers across the country have all learned his name as they’ve rallied around him and his oldest daughter, 22-year-old Candice Glover, who has been a hit on the current season of TV’s “American Idol.” At press time, Candice was one of the top nine contestants in the competition, which awards the winner with a record deal and has become a springboard for launching the careers of bona fide stars.
“I gave her three chances to audition and after the third audition, she would be out if she didn’t make it through,” says Ricky Glover. “This year was her third time auditioning and now she’s in the top nine. Now my advice is to win it.”
At the March 20 American Idol performance, in which Candice was one of the nine performers selected to continue competing, her parents were in the audience. “Watching Candice on stage is amazing and unexplainable,” Glover says. “It is really emotional for me as her dad.”
Glover has been blown away by the support that Waste Management and its employees have afforded him and his daughter. The company included an article about Candice in its employee newsletter, and Glover’s co-workers from around the country have voiced their support for Candice through tweets and Facebook posts. Waste Management’s Facebook page even includes an album of photos featuring employees from various states holding pictures of Candice to show their support.
“Seeing employees from across the country supporting my daughter is just amazing,” Glover says. “And I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to take the time to spend with Candice in Las Vegas [where the show is filmed] due to staffing, but the company came through for me and I am so thankful.”
Friends and neighbors in the Glovers’ hometown of Beaufort, S.C., have paid some of the family’s travel expenses, a gift that Candice Glover told Hollywood Reporter was overwhelmingly special. “It definitely pushes me to do a better job to know that they’re there,” she told the publication. “I’m daddy’s little girl. To see him in the audience and my mom and my grandma and my cousin and all of them rooting for me with the big signs, it feels great, and it pushes me to do a better job.”
Nancy Mann Jackson is a contributing writer based in Florence, Ala.