Childhood & Early Life
Thomas Rhett was born on March 30, 1990, in Voldsta, Georgia, USA, to country singer Rhett Akins. His parents divorced when he was 9; the main reason for his parents’ separation was his father’s career. As he had witnessed the uncertainties of the music profession, he promised his mother that he would not pursue a career in music. He, sometimes, toured with his father and accompanied him on the stage to play drums.
While in the junior high school, he learnt to play drums. During his high school years he played with a punk rock band named, ‘The High Heeled Flip Flops.’ After graduation, he attended the ‘David Lipscomb University’ in Nashville, Tennessee, and enrolled to study communications. However, with his growing love for music, he gave up studies at 20 and began working on his music career. (He broke his promise to his mother, but she supported him). He started playing at the frat parties and clubs.
He grew up listening to country, rock, and hip-hop - his music reflects a combination of all these styles. According to him, the ‘Rolling Stone,’ ‘Willie Nelson,’ and ‘Merle Haggard’ are his musical influences.
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When Rhett started his music career, his father had established himself as a songwriter and had become a part of ‘The Peach Pickers,’ the well-known songwriting team. Akins also won BMI’s ‘Country Songwriter of the Year,’ in 2011. Thomas Rhett began writing lyrics with his father, and on one occasion he opened for singer-songwriter Frankie Ballard at a music industry showcase. One of EMI’s officials, Vaughn, liked Rhett’s music and offered a publishing deal. In February 2010, Rhett signed with ‘EMI’ and wrote songs for them.
He co-wrote the lyrics of Jason Aldean’s ‘I Ain’t Ready to Quit’ (album ‘My Kinda Party’), and also wrote songs for Florida Georgia Line (‘Round Here’), Scotty McCreery (‘Write Your Number on My Hand’), and Lee Brice (‘Parking Lot Party’). Around the same time, Vaughn from EMI took Rhett around the record companies for auditions, and he received an offer from ‘Big Machine Label Group.’ He signed with ‘Valory Music Group,’ a division of ‘Big Machine Records,’ in 2011.
Rhett came out with his debut single, ‘Something to Do with My Hands,’ in 2012. It reached number 19 on the ‘Country Singles Chart.’ The same year he released ‘Beer with Jesus,’ which made to the top 30 in the ‘Hot Country Songs.’ He co-wrote his third single, ‘It Goes Like This,’ with his father. It was his first number 1 on the ‘Country Airplay’ and reached the number 2 position in the ‘Hot Country Songs.’
His debut album, ‘It Goes Like This,’ was released on October 29, 2013. It reached number 6 on the ‘Billboard Charts.’ His fourth single, ‘Get Me Some of That,’ and the fifth one, ‘Make Me Wanna,’ made to the number 1 on the country charts. He also featured as a guest singer on Brantley Gilbert’s ‘Small Town Throwdown.’
Rhett’s next single, ‘Crash and Burn,’ the lead single from his next album, came out on April 7, 2015, and on September 25, 2015, his second album, ‘Tangled Up’ was released. ‘Die A Happy Man,’ his second single from the album, released on September 28, 2015, and remained at the number 1 position on ‘Country airplay’ chart for 8 weeks. It was only the 2nd such song in the chart’s history to maintain its top spot. The song also topped the ‘Hot Country Songs’ and ‘Canada Country’ Charts. His wife, Lauren, was the inspiration for this song and she also co-starred in its video, which registered over 100 million views on ‘YouTube.’ Hip-Hop singer Nelly liked this song and created his own cover version of it.
The third single, ‘T-Shirt,’ from this album, released to country radio on February 16, 2016, reached number 1 on ‘Country Airplay,’ but it was criticized for its lyrical content. Two more singles from this album, ‘Vacation’ and ‘Star of the Show – deluxe version,’ were released later in 2016.
Rhett brought out his third studio album, ‘Life Changes,’ on September 8, 2017. The singles, ‘Craving You,’ featuring Maren Morris, ‘Unforgettable,’ and ‘Marry Me,’ topped the charts. In 2018, ‘Marry Me’ became his tenth song to reach the number 1 on ‘Billboard Chart for Country Airplay.’ The fourth single, ‘Life Changes,’ was released in April 2018. It tells a story from his struggling days as a songwriter to various changes in his adult life and also mentions his wife and two daughters. Another autobiographical number from this album is, ‘Sixteen,’ which narrates his own adolescence.
Awards & Achievements
In 2015, his single, ‘Make Me Wanna,’ fetched him ‘ASCAP Country Music Award for Most Performed Songs’ and the ‘BMI Country Award for Top 50 Songs.’
Rhett earned the ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ award at the ‘Academy of Country Music Award’ in 2017. His song, ‘Die a Happy Man,’ won him his first ‘Academy of Country Music Award for the Song of the Year' as well as the ‘Country Music Association Award for the Single of the Year’ and a nomination for the ‘Grammy Award.’
His third album, ‘Life Changes,’ was nominated for the ‘Album of the Year’ at the ‘Academy of Country Music Award’ and for ‘Best Country Album’ at the ‘Grammy Awards.’
On October 12, 2012, Rhett married Lauren Gregory, whom he had known since junior school. During their childhood, the two attended the same church camps and dated for a while in high school, but later they went their separate ways and considered marrying other partners. However, they met once again in 2011, and got engaged in December 2011.
On a trip to Uganda, Lauren met an orphan baby through an NGO, whom they both decided to adopt. In February 2017, they announced that they were expecting their child in August. In May 2017, they adopted 18-months-old Willa Gray while their second daughter, Ada James, was born on August 12, 2017.