'Nashville' Star Charles Esten Earns Spot in Guinness Book of World Records

Nashville TV star Charles Esten has earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, but for his music, not his acting. The 52-year-old is the person with the Most Consecutive Weeks to Release an Original Digital Single by a Musical Act.

The achievement is thanks to Esten's audacious goal of releasing one song every Friday, with his #EverySingleFriday campaign, which began on July 15, 2016, and concluded on July 21, 2017, resulting in an astonishing 54 songs which Esten wrote or co-wrote, recorded and released.

"On July 1, 2016, I posted a video where I promised to put out a brand-new original single every single Friday for 'as long as it made sense,'" Esten says in a statement. "At that time, I had no idea how it would go, or how long I could do it. I only knew that, as a lifelong songwriter, through my role as Deacon Claybourne on Nashville, I had found my way to Music City and, surrounded by some of the most talented people in the world, I was feeling a level of inspiration and creativity that needed a different kind of outlet than an EP or an album.

"I had no idea how challenging this project would be, or how incredibly fulfilling, or that a little over a year later, I would complete #EverySingleFriday with 54 original singles released," he continues. "I certainly had NO idea that number would be considered a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title."

Esten was born in Pittsburgh but grew up Alexandria, Va., where he became enthralled by the book that now bears his name.

"While growing up in Northern Virginia, I (like everyone else I knew) was more than a little obsessed with the fascinating and inspiring Guinness World Records edition of amazing benchmarks," Esten says. "Right now, It's almost impossible for me to imagine that my #EverySingleFriday project, a true passion project that started with the most humble of goals — to share my music — has earned a Guinness World Records title. I am deeply honored and extremely grateful."

Esten is undoubtedly experiencing a roller-coaster of emotions this week. The married father of three was given his certificate of achievement from the Guinness Book of World Records following a performance on the Today show, which occurred right after Esten celebrated his 100th performance on the Grand Ole Opry.

But this week also marks the end of his role on Nashville, with the series finale airing on Thursday, July 26. Although Esten is sad to see the show end, he has no plans to leave Tennessee, or to stop working on music.

"I guess I'd have to admit that it occurs to me that all of this, in some sense, has been a kind of declaration that music is a priority to me," Esten tells Billboard. "Now that I've been blessed to get all the incredible opportunities that Nashville -- the show and the city -- have provided, I honestly can't conceive of a future that doesn't somehow include writing, recording, and performing my music as a central part of my life. You might say that I am in it for the long haul."

All of Esten's singles are available for download at CharlesEsten.com.


Photo Credit: Nathan Congleton / NBCNews