Chris Young Cafe Opening at His Alma Mater, MTSU, This Fall

Chris Young attended MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) before becoming a country music superstar, and he is now giving back to his alma mater. The Grand Ole Opry member announced that the Chris Young Café , a live entertainment venue, will open this fall.

"MTSU will always hold a special place in my heart," Young said in a statement of the college, which he attended in 2005 before deciding to pursue music full-time. "It helped me launch my music career and I'm glad for the opportunity to give back to the University."

Young has been a longtime supporter of MTSU, donating some of his touring audio equipment to the college in 2012, and funding an annual scholarship for recording industry students since 2012.

"The Chris Young Café will encourage our students to dream bigger," MTSU President Sidney A.McPhee said. "Chris studied at MTSU and then launched a successful music industry career, so every time they see his name on the café, their aspirations will seem a little more obtainable if they follow in his footsteps and work as hard as he has."

The Chris Young Café has 3,200 square feet of community and dining space with two raised platform stages. The space will give students many of the experiences they will need before launching into their own music industry careers.

"His generosity will allow our students to gain real-world, hands-on experience in performing and live sound," Recording Industry Chair Beverly Keel said. "He is a wonderful role model for our students, not only because of his success, but because of his desire to continually give back and help others."

Young's single, "Raised on Country," is climbing up the charts, but he is also excited about another song, "Drowning," from his upcoming new album.

"When I sang it on the Opry, it's about a friend of mine that passed away," Young recalled to about his performance of the song. "I've never really written anything like that before. I've been fine every single time that I've sung it, until that night. I just came apart as I got to the second verse. I was like, 'Oh man. I'm gonna cry.' And I did. And so I turned around to reset, and then everybody stood up and started clapping. We just played the rest of the song out. But it's an incredibly powerful song."


Young is currently on his Raised on Country Tour. Find dates on Young's website.

Photo Credit: Getty images/CBS Photo Archive