STOCKTON -- "Bubbly" singer Colbie Caillat didn't know touring could be so fun until she hooked up with Gavin DeGraw. The two come to Stockton's Bob Hope Theatre on Wednesday.
"It's so much fun, it's seriously the best tour I've ever been on," Caillat said in a phone interview. "Everybody in his band, his crew, my band, my crew -- we all hang out together every night."
Caillat, 27, broke out in 2007 with her mellow hit "Bubbly," which spent 14 weeks atop Billboard's Top 40 chart. She is known for her positive, feel-good hits like "Realize," "The Little Things," "Lucky" (a duet with Jason Mraz), and more recently "Brighter Than the Sun" and "I Do," off her latest album, 2011's "All of You." She also contributed background vocals and songwriting to Taylor Swift's Grammy-winning 2009 album "Fearless."
DeGraw, 35, came to fame in 2003 with his album "Chariot," featuring the hit title song and "I Don't Want To Be," which became the theme song to the CW TV show "One Tree Hill." His latest album, 2011's "Sweeter," reached the top 10 in the Billboard 200. He competed on last season's "Dancing With the Stars" (he and his partner were eliminated in the fifth week). He played in Modesto as an up-and-comer at SummerFest in 2004.
"I think we're both admirers of each other's music and voice," she said. "His voice is so strong and so beautiful. Every time I watch him at night, it makes me want to get better and better because he's so good."
She recently posted a photo on Twitter of the two of them writing a song. They planned to debut it earlier this week. Caillat said the song is called "We Both Know" and is a beautiful ballad with nice harmonies. "It's about learning each other's limitations in a relationship -- where you're strong and where you're not."
Caillat grew up in Malibu and Hawaii, the daughter of Ken Caillat, who co-produced Fleetwood Mac's albums "Rumors" (1977) and "Tusk" (1979). The members of the band were family friends and she went to their houses and attended their concerts. She said her friends didn't know who they were but their parents were impressed.
Caillat said it was her decision to sing but her parents supported her, getting her lessons for singing, piano and guitar and encouraging her to write her own songs. Her dad also has produced many of her songs. Although she might disagree with his advice to add an instrument here or there, she said he's usually right.
Despite her musically privileged background, Caillat didn't have a smooth ride to the top. Before she became famous, she was rejected for "American Idol" not once, but twice. She was 19 and 20 when that happened. The second time, she auditioned with "Bubbly," which she had just written.
"My voice was shaky, I was really nervous and too shy," she said. "I wasn't right for the show at all. I would have failed completely."
Caillat said she never really wanted to audition for the show in the first place and only did at the urging of friends. She never got very far in the auditions and didn't ever meet then-judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul or Randy Jackson.
Later this year, she'll release her first Christmas album, which her father produced. She recorded it over recent months at her parents' Southern California house. It includes four duets but she doesn't want to name the other artists quite yet. She feels good about the album because she had time to do it right and didn't have to rush. She said she is thinking about doing a Christmas concert tour. She also wants to record some songs with DeGraw and possibly put out an EP.
She said she writes positive music because that's the kind of person she is. "I don't like being sad and upset and depressed," she said. "We all have those days for sure. I turn the perspective around about how I want it to be, how it's going to be."