Thomas Rhett grew up in the country music industry, literally. The 29-year-old is the son of singer-songwriter, Rhett Akins, who had a series of hits in the '90s, including "Don't Get Me Started" and "That Ain't My Truck," among others. It was in watching Akins that Rhett learned early on what it meant to be fully immersed in country music, and decided that was the path he wanted to take as well.
"I knew what a radio tour was at 12," Rhett told Hits Daily Double. "I knew what putting a record out was at 15. I knew what it was like to have a song put on hold, then not get cut. I saw it all happen with my dad. I saw him succeed and fail, and then decide to go ahead and go back to it. He could have done anything. He was so glad to be off the road, to be home more."
Akins' last album for a major label was What Livin's All About, released in 1998, after which he decided to focus more on songwriting, illustrating a powerful lesson for Rhett in the process.
"He was like, 'I can’t bring that much baggage into my home,' so we never really saw it," Rhett recalled. "But after his record deal, he went out and did a developmental publishing deal — just like any young songwriter coming to town."
Akins is opening for Rhett on Rhett's Very Hot Summer Tour, and writing as much as he can, with Rhett taking plenty of notes from his dad.
"My dad can sit in a room with T-Pain or George Strait or Birdman and hold his own," boasted Rhett. "When you feel you’re as talented as other people and you keep doing it? Even at 50 years old, he’s one of the most intriguing people in this business. To see him onstage, telling stories about the songs, the artists who cut them or his own career is magic."
Rhett previously opened up about Akins, and the joy he had in watching his dad on his VHS Tour.
"I give my dad's set a 10 out of 10," Rhett told PopCulture.com and other media. "And of course I'm biased, but when you get out there and watch my dad, I remember how much of a great entertainer he is. And for somebody to walk out there after not playing shows for like 15 years ... He just walks out there and he's like, 'Hey you all, I'm Thomas Rhett's dad and these are songs that you hear on the radio. And he just plays a Jon Pardi hit or a Dustin Lynch hit and I just love his attitude out there. It's a really, really cool show to watch."0comments
Photo Credit: Getty images / Rick Diamond