Thomas Rhett Got Jiggy With It

Will Smith and the Ramones Were Big Influences

Of course Thomas Rhett was influenced by his singer-songwriter father Rhett Akins and all the music that came from Akins and his ’90s country brethren.

But during a Sunday morning (Jan. 15) interview on NBC’s Today, he admitted that while country was his first love, it was certainly not his only love growing up.

“Will Smith was my jam,” he said, admitting that Smith’s 1997 hit “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” was the first rap song he ever learned.

And when he started his first band as a kid, their music and their style was deeply rooted in 70s punk.

“We wanted to be the Ramones,” he said.

But during the interview, Thomas Rhett shared how he channeled all those influences into the country career that was his inevitable destiny.

“If you watch home videos, at 4 years old I was doing nothing but being the entertainer. Singing ‘Boot Scootin’ Boogie’ in the living room. Then I guess just by the grace of God I started writing songs and somebody happened to like them,” Thomas Rhett said about getting his first cut — “I Ain’t Ready to Quit” on Jason Aldean’s 2010 album, My Kinda Party.

“And then doors just kept opening left and right,” he said.

They are still opening left and right, in fact. Thomas Rhett announced Tuesday (Jan. 17) he is extending his 2017 tour with new stops in Europe, Canada and here in the U.S.

“It’s unreal that we’re adding dates before we’ve even had a chance to get started,” he said. “It’d be impossible to pick which part of the tour I’m most excited about, but I can’t wait to get back out there. We’re going to make sure every last person at the show has a good time.”

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