Chris Young on Pros and Cons of Reality TV

There are a few different ways to navigate your way into Nashville — straightaways and back roads, in a way. The two most popular, it seems, are playing for tips in honky-tonks or hoping that reality TV lands you a record deal. Neither one is guaranteed to make you an overnight success, but for Chris Young, it was the reality TV route that got him off to a solid start. Parade magazine recently talked with Young about his new album A.M. (due out Sept. 17) and how the 2006 season of Nashville Star put him where he is today.

“I think it’s definitely one of the avenues that’s become more prominent over the years,” he said. “Whether you start from a TV show, or you get your record deal from pounding the pavement in Nashville, there are pros and cons to both ways of doing it. It’s definitely a matter of what you do once you’re there on a record label because that’s really where a lot of the work starts.”

Boy, is he right about that. Winning a televised talent show doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard. This is Young’s fourth album, so he’s been hard at work for nearly seven years. He did say, though, that he’s had a few career highlights along the way, like filling up Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

“That was a big deal for me because of that building and what it means,” he said.

Touring with great people and releasing his first record were highlights, too.

“And then obviously, my first No. 1 because it was four singles before I had anything over No. 37,” Young recalled about his 2009 song “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song).”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.