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Category: Press

Thomas Rhett says CMA Awards Are “Nerve-Wracking”

Thomas Rhett says CMA Awards Are “Nerve-Wracking”

Thomas Rhett won his first CMA Awards trophy in 2016, beating out Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton and Eric Church to take home Single of the Year, for “Die a Happy Man.” The “Unforgettable” singer, who is nominated in three categories at the 2017 CMA Awards, says his anxiety about the annual event starts long before the actual awards ceremony begins.

“It’s nerve-wracking. It’s really nerve-wracking watching those nominations,” Rhett shared with The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. “And then, when you actually do get nominated, then all you do is sit there, and you’re like, ‘I’m in the category with him, that means I’m automatically going to lose that award’ … And there are just so many talented people in our genre.”

Still, Rhett says whether he adds another trophy to his shelf after the upcoming CMA Awards or not, he’s definitely already a winner.

“Those awards shows are so fun,” he adds. “And when you do win them, they’re great. But honestly, just to be nominated in those categories is very special as well.”

In addition to his 2017 CMA Awards nominations, Rhett also recently earned an American Music Awards nomination for Favorite Male Artist — Country. He shares the category with Keith Urban and Sam Hunt.
The 2017 CMA Awards are scheduled to air on ABC on Nov. 8, at 8PM ET; the ceremony will take place live at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the ceremony for the 10th year in a row.


ABC Announces First CMA Performers

ABC has announced the first wave artists set to perform at the 2017 CMA Awards.

Announced Wednesday morning, Country Music’s Biggest Night is already shaping up to be star-studded with performances from Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett and Carrie Underwood.

16-time CMA Award winner and 2017 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Alan Jackson will also take the stage during the show for his 24th CMA Awards performance since debuting in 1990 with “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow.” Garth Brooks, reigning Entertainer of the Year and most awarded artist in history, is also set to perform and has earned his 12th nomination for Entertainer of the Year.

With five nominations this year, including her 11th nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year, Miranda Lambert tops the list of nominees. Meanwhile, newcomer Jon Pardi secured two nominations for New Artist of the Year and Single of the Year for his song “Dirt On My Boots.” Thomas Rhett raked in first-time nominations for Musical Event of the Year, Music Video of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year.


Kenny Chesney Announces 2018 Trip Around The Sun Tour With Thomas Rhett

Kenny Chesney is headed out on tour again — and it’s looking like it will be one of his biggest yet!

“The Big Revival” singer announced his 2018 Trip Around the Sun tour on Wednesday with a series of tweets showcasing every major stadium he’ll play at. Fans are abuzz over the new tour since he’ll be teaming up with Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion and Brandon Lay on-stage.

“To say I miss the stage would be an understatement, but not just the stage, I miss the energy, the passion, the spirit of No Shoes Nation… and everything you bring to the shows and my life,” Kenny says in the concert announcement video.

Thomas, who won CMA Male Vocalist of the Year in 2017, shared his excitement about the tour on Twitter, as well.

The tour begins on April 21 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, and concludes on August 24 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

The tour spans most of North America hitting almost every state from coast to coast.

Thomas Rhett Says “Craving You” Video Inspired Him to Push Himself — Thomas Rhett didn’t hold anything back with the music video for “Craving You,” his duet with Maren Morris. The movie trailer-like video was inspired by Rhett’s desire to show his fans a new, even-more-creative side of himself as an artist.

“It would be unfortunate to make a video like that and then go make something average for the next few,” Rhett shared with The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. “But, I think, with these songs, it’s really all about finding the right idea and then figuring out how to execute it. [With] “Craving You,” I’ve had that idea for a long time, of just wanting to make somewhat of an action-packed movie trailer of a music video — not that it really even related to the song “Craving You” at all. It was just fun to make, and I thought it was a cool visual, that my fans had never really seen me in that environment before.”

“Craving You” was the first single from Rhett’s Life Changes album. With his second single from the record, “Unforgettable,” rapidly climbing the charts, the artist hints that the “Craving You” video is going to inspire his future videos as well.

“I think these next videos off this record, I definitely want to continue to try to push myself, as far as making videos that may take longer or require somewhat of a script, or require me writing some of the story,” shares Rhett. “I’ve been very involved with my videos over the last three or four, and it’s nice to get in there and do something fresh and something that none of my fans have ever really seen before.”

“Craving You,” which was directed by TK McKamy, is nominated for Music Video of the Year at the 2017 a CMA Awards.

Country Singer Thomas Rhett Chats to AD About His New Pop-up Store (and New House!) — To fashion aficionados, the name Thomas Rhett might not ring a bell. But to millions of country fans, it’s a common one: The 27-year-old singer-songwriter has released three albums in the past four years (including his latest, Life Changes); written songs for the likes of Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line; and has had eight songs reach the number one position on the country airplay charts. On top of his own success, Thomas Rhett Akins Jr., who professionally goes by Thomas Rhett, is also the son of country singer-songwriter Rhett Akins.

But Rhett’s other, perhaps lesser-known, interest lies within fashion, which led him to create a pop-up store that opened at the end of last month at the Seventh Letter in Los Angeles. A selection of Home Team–branded clothing, accessories and custom art are available for purchase, including four thrift-store denim jackets that have been highly customized by Rhett’s stylist, Kemal Harris, who also works as a stylist for Netflix’s House of Cards. Rhett’s line, Daniel Patrick X Thomas Rhett, includes three limited-edition styles for men and women, including an anorak track pullover for $475, shorts for $275, and a hat for $60.

The “Die a Happy Man” singer, and recent father of two, talked to AD about everything from his Bieber inspiration to a freshly drawn-up set of new house plans.

Architectural Digest: What inspired you to create a pop-up shop in Los Angeles?

Thomas Rhett: I’ve watched other artists do it, but no one in our genre has done this. It’s been fun for me to create items that we would never sell on the road. It’s a combination of Thomas Rhett merchandise; my style more than just merchandising a face concert T-shirt, which sometimes could be an epic failure. I’ve never really done this on my tour before, sold pieces that are a little bit more fashion forward. People like Justin Bieber and Drake do these pop-ups, and that seems like something I would really like to go to as a fan of theirs. To have people around the store, waiting to come in, I’m excited to see what they gravitate toward.

AD: You collaborated with L.A. designer Daniel Patrick, whose clothes you’ve worn before. Are there any other designers featured at this pop-up?

TR: Most designers I’ve reached out to are like, ‘Who is this country singer wanting to get my new spring collection?’ Every time I’ve talked to Daniel and his wife, I’ll text him to be like, ‘Those new acid-wash sweatpants are sick, can you send me a pair?’ At first he was like, ‘I didn’t think people in country wanted to wear my stuff.’ But I wanted to get it out there. People are coming to my concerts wearing skinny jeans and Vans, it’s not just cowboy hats. I want to change the cliché of what the world views as country music style and kind of get the word out that we do have style and we love working with different designers. MadeWorn is also a brand that my wife wears religiously. The designer, Blaine Halvorson, only did 25 shirts. We also worked with a New Era low-profile snapback. It was my first-ever collaboration with designers, but I hope to do a lot more.

AD: For this Fairfax location, what design aesthetic were you going for?

TR: Very much streetwear. That’s what I wear in my daily life. I’m a shredded-jeans person, a destroyed-T-shirt person, but I will wear a striped tracksuit, too. My style is all over the place and I love being able to explore that in the space of combining merch and things I would actually wear. No yoga pants and no onesies, though. But I probably should have done a baby line in here. My next pop-up is going to be only for babies.

AD: Your family went from two—you and your wife, Lauren—to four, with your adopted baby and your newborn. How’s your home looking?

TR: It’s everything that my wife picks out. I don’t really get a say, but it’s very neutral-tone, whites and grays, and a lot of rustic furniture. Beat-up wooden tables, very Restoration Hardware if you will.

AD: Are you adding any room additions? Has your aesthetic changed?

TR: In terms of our house, we are outgrowing it very fast. It’s 3,000 square feet. When we bought it, it was 1,000 square feet so we added 2,000 square feet four years ago. We are in the process of building a new home, actually. My wife wants, like, five kids, so we are going to have to build a gigantic house. We just got our plans back. It’s like 10 minutes away from our old place in Nashville, but the new house is going to be very Southern-influenced. In the front, it is going to look like a one-story home, but it’s on a slope, so when you go to the back it’s going to be a three-story home. We’re putting a studio in the house and a gym with a punching bag, which is something I’ve always wanted.

AD: New album! New house! Does that mean new furniture, too?

TR: I’m sure we will take certain pieces. Every Christmas my granddad picks a grandchild and makes a wood piece. He built my and Lauren’s wooden kitchen table, and that’s a piece we will have for forever. It’s mahogany, and it has tears at the end if you want to make it longer. He carved his name into the table and I think he carved how many man-hours it took him, which was a ton, and the date he delivered it to us. It’s probably the most cherished piece of furniture we have in our house.

AD: You mentioned seeking out more collaborations, could that extend to a home line?

TR: I mean why not? This is the first step in anything design I’ve ever been a part of and it’s something that I’ve been sketching in a notebook all day long. Whether it’s different ways to make a hat or something else. I’m so passionate about this and putting it into action; this is definitely one of the coolest days of my career thus far.

Thomas Rhett Gushes Over the ‘Sweetest Thing’ Daughter Willa Gray Does When He’s on the Radio

Thomas Rhett isn’t like a regular dad — he’s a cool dad.

The 27-year-old country star and wife Lauren welcomed two baby girls amid a banner year for his career. Rhett’s been busy on his headlining Home Team tour since March and just last week became the first country act this year to top the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.

“I was really surprised,” Rhett tells ET. “I think as an artist, anytime you put a record out, you’re just like, ‘I hope people like it.’ And so when you see your record go No. 1 and stay there for an entire week, that was just a huge feat for me and the team. I’m just so happy for the writers and the people that played on the record because we put a lot of hard work into this record.”

When it comes to picking favorites, Rhett says that wife Lauren is a fan of “Sweetheart,” while 1-year-old Willa Gray gravitates towards the EDM-flavored “Leave Right Now.”

Rhett also couldn’t help but gush over the adorable thing that Willa Gray does when she hears dad’s singles on the radio.

“Whenever she hears ‘Craving You’ or ‘Unforgettable,’ she says ‘Daddy! Daddy!’ It’s the sweetest thing in the world,” Rhett beamed.

ET caught up with Rhett at his fashion pop-up shop in Los Angeles, featuring collaborations with Daniel Patrick, MadeWorn, New Era caps and his personal stylist, Kemal Harris. While he hasn’t yet ventured into baby and toddler fashion — “We should have made a onesie!” he laughed — he did open up about how much fun he’s had teaching his eldest daughter about fashion and how he’s balancing parenthood with a demanding career.

Inside Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins’ Sweet – with ‘Not Too Much Pink’ – Rooms for Daughters Ada and Willa

When country star Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren Akins‘ younger daughter Ada James arrived home from the hospital in August, there was a sweet and sentimental new space ready and waiting for her.

The happy new parents worked hand-in-hand with April Tomlin Interiors to design a “dreamy” nursery for their newborn – and recently gave PEOPLE an exclusive inside look.

“It’s a sweet nursery. Not too much pink – I’m not a pink girl,” Lauren tells PEOPLE, noting that both the carpet and bed in the now-6-week-old’s room include the color blue.

As for 22-month-old daughter Willa Gray‘s room, “[It’s] the same way – I was adamant about not having a giant pink room for my girls,” she adds. “But we love it. She seems to enjoy it so far, so I think it’s working.”

The nursery – photographed by Julie Paisley – includes plenty of special touches, including a framed copy of the photo Lauren and Thomas Rhett used to share their pregnancy news with their families.

In the image, the spouses’ older daughter had a little sign taped to her outfit that read “Big Sister.” Explains Thomas Rhett, 27, “I don’t think Willa Gray knew what was happening!”

“We had limited resources on how we were going to tell our family,” shares Lauren, “so we had this picture framed for everybody and that’s how we told everybody that she was coming into the world. That’s probably the sweetest thing in here, especially to us, because that was such a fun memory – trying to get that picture and then getting to tell everybody.”

Both Ada and Willa’s rooms are packed with reading material (“We’ve got every single Dr. Seuss book on the planet,” jokes Thomas Rhett), while the former also has a closet stocked with newborn-sized dresses, saved over the years by Lauren’s grandmother.

Willa – whom the couple adopted from Uganda in May – also has African animals and beads featured in her room’s artwork. Says Lauren, “Africa, obviously, is a huge part of our lives and my heart and mission, so I think that’s probably heavier in her room.”

The pair can’t keep Willa Gray out of her sister’s room, though – specifically, the infant’s crib.

“She wants to get in the crib all day long,” says Lauren. “She wants to lay down and take naps with Ada, which she’s not really allowed to do. But she tries. She loves getting in the crib.”


Video: Thomas Rhett Review’s Kelsea Ballerini’s Upcoming Album at iHeartRadio Festival

Thomas Rhett Is Excited to Celebrate Christmas with Kids: Last Year ‘Was Literally Me, My Wife and 2 Dogs’

Thomas Rhett Is Excited to Celebrate Christmas with Kids: Last Year ‘Was Literally Me, My Wife and 2 Dogs’

Thomas Rhett has belted out a lot of songs in his career, but his newest single “Life Changes” is probably the most apropos.

On Aug. 12, he and his wife Lauren Akins welcomed daughter Ada James. Just a few months prior, the couple adopted their daughter, Willa Gray, now 22 months old.

How’s that for life changes?

“Last Christmas it was literally me and my wife and two dogs, and this Christmas is going to be my wife, two dogs and two kids,” he told PEOPLE at the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas on Saturday. “I would say that’s the most massive change on the planet.”

“It’s hard,” he said of juggling new fatherhood (times two!) and touring,” but Lauren has been so amazing.”

In fact, his wife flew to Los Angeles on Friday with the children to surprise him during his show at The Greek, which he says “is not an easy flight with two kids under 2.”

Like we said, life changes.

“I meet people in meet and greet and people will say, ‘I know that that story is your story, but I replace things that happen in my life and sing the chorus and it makes sense for all of us,’” Rhett said. “That’s one the things I thrive on as a songwriter is trying to make it as personal as I can and have it relate to as many people as humanly possible.”


Willa Gray can spot Thomas Rhett on the radio, but Bruno Mars is her favorite — Sure, Thomas Rhett has a #1 album on both the all-genre chart and the country ranking, as well as a top-ten song with “Unforgettable.”

But it’s likely the recognition of one single fan that means the most to him: that would be his adopted daughter from Uganda, Willa Gray.

“You can tell she loves music,” TR says, “because anytime there’s a drum beat, she’s dancing, she’s spinning around in circles. But lately, I’ve been pretty impressed, like when we’ll be riding in the car and ‘Unforgettable’ will come on the radio and she’ll go ‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.’ And so I think she knows the sound of my voice enough, even when she hears it in a song, she can pick out that that’s a song that I sing.”

The father of two — Willa also has a newborn sister named Ada — says his oldest definitely gravitates toward one track on his chart-topping Life Changes album.

“She loves this song ‘Leave Right Now’ and it’s probably because it has such an intense beat. Bruno Mars is her favorite,” TR reveals. “She loves dance music in general, so I think that’s her favorite on the record.”

Thomas got to meet Bruno this week, sharing a photo of the two together on his socials. Midland’s Cameron Duddy, a longtime friend of the “Uptown Funk” hitmaker who’s also directed his videos, put the two together.

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