What Thanksgiving Means to Country

Stars Share Rituals and Recipes They Love

I can probably sum up almost everyone’s ideal Thanksgiving with three words: family and food. But when it comes to counting blessings, everyone seems to have a different story. And just in time for the holiday on Thursday (Nov. 23), the country stars are reflecting on what the holiday means to them.

Thomas Rhett

“You know, Willa’s a little bit too young to understand a lot of things,” Thomas Rhett said of his oldest daughter. “So I think once she gets to the age where she starts to ask questions like, ’Where am I legitimately from? What kind of holidays do they celebrate in Uganda?’ I would love to start incorporating a ton of her culture into our lifestyle because we’re celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas and Fourth of July. And when she starts asking those questions, I would love for her to start knowing and learning about her culture as well.”

Ryan Hurd

“I grew up around music: my mom plays piano, my dad sang at church, and my dad and his brothers — every Thanksgiving and Christmas — would get
together and do little barbershop songs together. Whether they could sing the whole song or not,” Hurd shared, “they’d usually pick out one line, and it would take them an hour to figure it out. I’ve always been around music.”

Danielle Bradbery

“My parents are separated, so I have so many Thanksgivings — with my mom, her side of the family, and then we go over to my dad’s and have all these other meals. And so one meal that wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t there is my grandmother’s corn casserole,” Bradbery said.

Brantley Gilbert

“Thanksgiving is my wife’s favorite time of the year,” Gilbert said. “Especially this year I have so much to be thankful for, and it’s been a blessing and God’s done some amazing things in our lives.”

Midland’s Cameron Duddy

“It may be the first time we’ll have actually a couple of days in a row off. I have a big family, so we always get together and eat food and have drinks and watch football. It’s always a Dallas game on, it’s usually cold wherever we’re at, so chopping firewood and making a fire and petting the dog and having a couple of beers,” Duddy said.

Carly Pearce

“My mom makes a seriously amazing pumpkin pie, and she gets mad at us because we dabble into it before it’s probably time to,” Pearce admitted, “and she wants it to look perfect. My mom’s very much a perfectionist and wants everything to be set and nice, and my dad and I could care less. We’ll eat it off of a plastic plate.”


“On Thanksgiving, I’m a sleep-in type of person, as much as I can, because on the road I have to get up so early. So when I’m home, I’m just gonna sleep in as much as I can, and when I smell the coffee, then I’ll slowly wander out,” Cam said.

Kane Brown

“Well, macaroni and cheese,” Brown said about his favorite part of the meal. “But then my Ma Maw makes some good salmon patties, and gravy and biscuits, so I’m super excited for that. She always makes it, because she knows it’s my favorite, so I usually have my own plate waiting for me.”

Tyler Farr

“My grandma, my mom and aunt always make chicken and dumplin’s, with the gravy on the mashed potatoes, all out. You know, that’s hands down my
favorite side. Add some weight onto my back thighs, so it looks like somebody hit me in the back of the legs with a bag of nickels,” Farr said.

Walker Hayes

“I’m so grateful. I mean, all my kids are healthy, and we’re happy, we got a roof, we got food, we got a family that is supportive. Before you even get to what I get to do for a living, we are so grateful for what we have. I could go on and on about how grateful we are at Thanksgiving,” Hayes shared.