Thomas Rhett may be 32-years-old, but he still leans on his father for help.
The platinum-selling performer recently (Aug. 7) caught up with Big Machine Label Group to explain how his father, Rhett Akins still plays a vital role in his artistry and to reflect on the first time they joined forces in the writing room.
On the heels of scoring his 19th career No.1 with "Slow Down Summer," Rhett has sent his feel-good anthem "Half of Me" featuring Riley Green to country radio. The up-tempo track delivers a narrative about a man who would rather sip on a cold beer, than check boxes off a long-running to-do list. The chart-topping artist co-wrote the easy-going storyline alongside his dad, Rhett Akins, William Bundy, and frequent collaborator Josh Thompson.
"I'm pretty blown away to be celebrating my 19th No. 1 with 'Slow Down Summer' and the release of my new single 'Half Of Me.' I wrote both of these songs with my dad, which is special to me and several other truly incredible songwriters," Rhett previously shared. "I hope fans have as much fun singing along to 'Half Of Me' as we did writing it."
The unstoppable father-son duo has come a long way since they started making music together over a decade ago. Rhett told his label that he wrote his very first song with his father when he was just six-years-old.
"We wrote a song when I was six years old called 'A Piece of Wood,' and it was about building a guitar," he told BMLG. "that song has never been recorded. It probably never will be, but I do remember that vividly. My dad still has the little tape of us singing that song together in the kitchen."
While Rhett was at Lipscomb University in Nashville, he witnessed his dad shift from a performer to a critically acclaimed songwriter. He said that he always found his father's occupation interesting and left him with a handful of questions.
"I remember being in college, and my dad was just getting out of being an artist and just transitioning into doing the songwriter thing, and I always thought it was so intriguing," shared Rhett.
At the time, Rhett did not fathom that songwriting was a line of work he could pursue. When Rhett wasn't hitting the books, he would shadow his father at work.
"When I was in college, I used to go tag along with my dad during co-writes, and I think it would've been normal to have written some songs with dad early on, but then maybe not write with him a lot."
Rhett mentioned that his dad is now his "favorite co-writers," because he appreciates his point-of-view on the country music landscape and sincere guidance.
"His perspective on the music industry, the history that he's had in the business – not only is he a great friend and co-writer, but just a great advice giver, and he can actually speak from personal experience," he pointed out before expressing his gratitude. "It's been really special. It's just amazing that we still can do that together and also have success with it. It's a big blessing to be able to have that relationship with my dad."
Akins stepped into the genre as a Decca Records artist in 1995 with his debut album, "A Thousand Memories." The 10-song collection includes his first No.1 hit "That Ain't My Truck," which placed him on music radars nationwide. One year later, the hitmaker released "Don't Get Me Started" on his second studio album, "Somebody New." Akins has become one of the most decorated songwriters in music city with credits for Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, Chris Young, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Jon Pardi, and more.
The seasoned singer-songwriter has scored the CMA Triple Play award seven times. Most recently, Akins was named Songwriter of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music in 2019 and was recently inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2021.
Akins had a hand in penning five of the 15 songs on his son's latest record, "Where We Started." Rhett is currently pulling from the stream-worthy tracklist on his Bring The Bar To You Tour. The high-energy show is slated to wrap in Dayton, OH, on October 15. Tickets are available for purchase, here.
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