Is Thomas Rhett Related to Chet Atkins? The Surprising Truth About Their Family Ties

Thomas Rhett is one of the most popular and successful country music artists of his generation. He has released six studio albums, scored 17 number one hits on the Country Airplay chart, and received four Grammy Award nominations. But did you know that he is also the son of another country music star, Rhett Akins? And what about his connection to the legendary Chet Atkins, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time and a pioneer of the Nashville sound? In this article, we will explore the family history and musical legacy of Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, and Chet Atkins.

Thomas Rhett: The Son of a Singer-Songwriter

Thomas Rhett was born on March 30, 1990, in Valdosta, Georgia, to parents Rhett Akins and Paige Lankford (née Braswell). He has one younger sister, Kasey Akins, and two younger half-brothers from his parents’ remarriages. He grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was exposed to the music industry from a young age. His father, Rhett Akins, is a country singer-songwriter who had several hits in the 1990s, such as “That Ain’t My Truck”, “Don’t Get Me Started”, and “She Said Yes”. He also co-wrote songs for other artists, such as Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, and Brooks & Dunn.

Thomas Rhett inherited his father’s passion for music and learned to play drums when he was in junior high school. He would often join his father on stage and perform with him. He also formed a band called The High Heeled Flip Flops when he was in high school. He attended Lipscomb University in Nashville to study communications, but he dropped out at the age of 20 to pursue a career in music. He signed a publishing deal with Big Machine Label Group and started writing songs for other artists, such as Jason Aldean’s “I Ain’t Ready to Quit”, Florida Georgia Line’s “Round Here”, Lee Brice’s “Parking Lot Party”, and Scotty McCreery’s “Write Your Number on My Hand”.

In 2011, he signed a recording contract with Valory Music Group, a division of Big Machine Records, and released his debut single “Something to Do with My Hands” in 2012. His debut album, It Goes Like This, came out in 2013 and spawned five number one singles on the Country Airplay chart: “It Goes Like This”, “Get Me Some of That”, “Make Me Wanna”, “Crash and Burn”, and “Die a Happy Man”. The latter song was inspired by his wife, Lauren Akins, whom he married in 2012 after knowing her since first grade. The couple has three daughters: Willa Gray, whom they adopted from Uganda in 2017; Ada James, who was born in 2017; and Lennon Love, who was born in 2020.

Thomas Rhett’s second album, Tangled Up, was released in 2015 and featured more pop and R&B influences. It produced four more number one singles: “T-Shirt”, “Star of the Show”, “Craving You” (featuring Maren Morris), and “Unforgettable”. His third album, Life Changes, came out in 2017 and reflected his personal and professional growth. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart across all genres of music and earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album. It also generated four more number one singles: “Life Changes”, “Sixteen”, “Remember You Young”, and “Look What God Gave Her”.

His fourth album, Center Point Road, was released in 2019 and was named after the street where he grew up in Hendersonville. It also received a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album and produced two more number one singles: “Beer Can’t Fix” (featuring Jon Pardi) and “Be a Light” (featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, and Keith Urban). His fifth album, Country Again: Side A, came out in 2021 and marked a return to his rootsy sound. It spawned two more number one singles: “What’s Your Country Song” and “Country Again”. His sixth album, Where We Started, is expected to be released later this year.

Rhett Akins: The Father of a Country Star

Rhett Akins was born on October 13, 1969, in Valdosta, Georgia. He grew up listening to country music legends like Merle Haggard, George Jones, Hank Williams Jr., Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson. He also developed an interest in rock music, especially bands like AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Def Leppard. He learned to play guitar when he was 11 and started writing songs when he was 15. He moved to Nashville in 1992 to pursue a career in music and signed a recording contract with Decca Records in 1994.

His debut album, A Thousand Memories, was released in 1995 and produced four singles that reached the top 10 on the Hot Country Songs chart: “What They’re Talkin’ About”, “I Brake for Brunettes”, “That Ain’t My Truck”, and “She Said Yes”. The latter two songs became his signature hits and established him as a rising star in the country music scene. His second album, Somebody New, came out in 1996 and featured two more top 10 singles: “Don’t Get Me Started” and “Love You Back”. His third album, What Livin’s All About, was released in 1998 and included one more top 10 single: “More Than Everything”.

However, after his third album, his commercial success began to decline. He left Decca Records in 1999 and signed with MCA Nashville, but he only released one single, “Drivin’ My Life Away”, which failed to chart. He then moved to Audium Entertainment, a division of Koch Records, and released his fourth album, Friday Night in Dixie, in 2002. The album produced two minor singles: “Highway Sunrise” and “In Your Love”. He then switched to BNA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, and released his fifth album, People Like Me, in 2007. The album produced one more minor single: “Kiss My Country Ass”.

Despite his lack of success as a recording artist, Rhett Akins remained active as a songwriter. He co-wrote songs for other artists, such as Brooks & Dunn’s “Put a Girl in It”, Jack Ingram’s “Barefoot and Crazy”, Joe Nichols’ “Gimmie That Girl”, Rodney Atkins’ “Farmer’s Daughter”, Josh Turner’s “All Over Me”, Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee” and “Boys ‘Round Here”, Luke Bryan’s “I Don

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