Craig Campbell Is TMZ “Royalty”

His Cover of Lorde's Grammy Winning Song Has the Internet Buzzing

Craig Campbell may be known for his 2010 hit “Family Man,” but he’s the latest country star to land on TMZ.

But wait. Getting coverage on the wildly popular celebrity gossip website would mean Nashville has paparazzi now. Yep, that was my next thought, too.

No, there was absolutely no incident of bad behavior that sent a video of Campbell to the top of the website, but his cover of Lorde’s pop smash “Royals” did give him a boost on the Internet.

A video surfaced of Campbell giving the Grammy-winning tune the acoustic country treatment during a Monday night (Jan. 27) performance at the famed Whiskey Jam at Nashville’s Winners Bar and Grill. According to TMZ staffers, it’s “actually pretty awesome.”

Campbell’s unexpected version of “Royals” went over so well, he sang it again Tuesday night as a headliner at Nashville Lifestyles magazine’s annual Music in the City event. The crowd flipped out over the cover version.

They also flipped out when hot newcomer Cole Swindell showed up during Campbell’s set for an impromptu performance of “Outta My Head,” Campbell’s last single, which Swindell wrote. Of course, the party was on after that, so it made total sense for Swindell to stick around and perform his current smash debut “Chillin’ It.”

And speaking of Nashville, the soapy TV version was also well represented Tuesday night. Sam Palladio, who plays Gunnar Scott on the ABC series, also performed, and gave the audience a preview of his upcoming music, a slightly ethereal blend of roots and folk with just the coolest amount of edge.

I dug the fact that Nashville’s Chris Carmack (who plays Will Lexington) and Chaley Rose (who plays Scarlett’s … uh … former BFF Zoey Dalton) were there to hang and support their pal and co-star.

Other great performances that night included newcomers Natalie Stovall and the Drive, who tore the roof off the place with their feisty and absolutely blazing set of country rock. Stovall can absolutely own a fiddle. She is a star, as is Weston Burt, who played a great set complete with some of the smoothest and purest country vocals I’ve heard from a guy in a long time. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Nashville party without a few killer remixes of your favorite country hits, courtesy of the super-talented DJ Hish.

What can we say? You just have to love Nashville on a Tuesday night, right?

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.