Everyone has a story, and J.D. Shelburne has a unique one…from the tobacco farms and ball fields of Taylorsville, KY, a tiny town east of Louisville, to the bright lights of Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, JD has become a rising star through hard work and faith, two life lessons taught well by his parents and beloved grandparents.
Growing up, J.D. Shelburne spent his summers on the family farm, raising tobacco and following in his father’s footsteps, excelling in multiple sports during the school year. Born to be a star, he was just that in his small town on and off the field/ court, where his father was assistant principal/athletic director and his mother a homemaker/special education teacher. Music had not yet made its way into JD’s heart at this point. After high school graduation, Shelburne departed Taylorsville to attend the University of Kentucky. The journey started there. In the summer between his freshman and sophomore year, his grandmother Clara passed away, unexpectedly. Traumatic as it was, it turned out to be a major turning point in JD’s life. In the days after her death, the family gathered to take care of her belongings. After spending countless hours cleaning out her house, they stumbled upon an acoustic guitar that once belonged to JD’s uncle. “I never saw that guitar and I swear, my brother and I trampled all over that house growing up,” remembers JD. “Thankfully, my Uncle never sold it, or this journey may have never begun.”
Remembering his grandmother, JD says, “ She touched so many people in this small town…I have so many wonderful memories that she was a part of that I will cherish and never forget.” ”I think the whole county shut down for her funeral…she was loved by everyone in Taylorsville.” It was later that summer that he dusted off the guitar and tuned it up enough to sound like one. “One day, it just hit me and I picked it up…a chord book just happened to be in the case and I came across the first song, Unanswered Prayers, by Garth Brooks…I just thought, ‘This is what she wanted me to do’…so here I am, what an unanswered prayer it was.” Music lived in JD from that point on. Over the next year, he spent every free moment learning to play and perform. Friday night college parties turned into solitary Friday nights in his empty hometown Baptist church sanctuary, singing and playing, dreaming of a career in country music. After that one year of dedication and persistence, JD sang publicly for the first time in his hometown Baptist Church. Not being known as a singer, much less a guitar player, it shocked everyone! “Everyone in the congregation was crying…I’ll never forget it.” That moment gave JD the confidence to continue his journey to stardom during his college years. After graduating from UK in 2007 and some gentle nudging by his parents, he packed his bags and moved to Nashville, Tennessee in February of 2008.
His road to stardom has been blessed since the move. JD has had enough recognition to land him in Country Weekly Magazine in March 2009, numerous television/ radio appearances, a Grand Ole Opry appearance with Country Legend/ friend Steve Wariner, a USO Troop Tour to Camp Shelby, countless gigs that include KFC Yum Center!, The Wildhorse Saloon, CMA Music Festival Appearance, Fourth Street Live!, The Bluebird Café, Churchill Downs – Home of the Kentucky Derby and Louisville Slugger Field to name a few. JD Shelburne was also invited to be a part of the first ever HullabaLOU Music Festival at Churchill Downs with Bon Jovi/Kenny Chesney and many other national artists in July of 2010. JD Shelburne has also been highlighted at numerous award winning fairs and festivals all across the region.
JD Shelburne has also shared the stage with many national country acts since his debut. He has opened for artist such as Jamey Johnson, Clay Walker, Confederate Railroad, Kellie Pickler, Aaron Tippin, Easton Corbin, Josh Kelley, Johnny Lee, Cowboy Troy, Mark Wills, Josh Gracin, Bryan White, Trailer Choir, Craig Campbell, Love and Theft, Jeffrey Steele, Trent Tomlinson, Sam Bush, Gloriana, Colbie Caillat, The Kentucky Headhunters, Steve Wariner, Joey & Rory, The Harters, Adam Gregory, Daryl Worley, Crystal Shawanda, Jeremy McComb, David Frizzell, Joe Nichols (2007, 2009, 2009), John Michael Montgomery, Shannon Lawson, Halfway to Hazard and Juice Newton.
Shelburne’s kind of country has never been straight-up-the-middle. Instead, the Taylorsville, Kentucky -native grew up on a collection of honky-tonk, gospel, country and modern rock & roll, forging his own sound along the way.
JD Shelburne released his debut single “FARMBOY” nationwide to country radio stations on July 2, 2012! The song has been played on stations all across the United States since its release! The debut music video was also filmed in Shelburne’s hometown of Taylorsville, KY on his family farm and features University of Kentucky Head Football Coach Joker Phillips! Stay tuned to jdshelburne.com, CMT, GAC and TCN for the preview!
Follow the artist and hear the music at www.facebook.com/jdshelburne