Thomas Rhett’s 2017 is off to a memorable start.
The 26-year-old singer, who will welcome two babies into his family this year, recently kicked off his first-ever headlining Home Team Tour—and yesterday (March 1), he celebrated two No. 1 songs, “T-Shirt” and “Star of the Show,” with a party at Nashville’s Kung Fu Saloon.
“I’m trying to sit here and enjoy this moment,” Thomas Rhett said to the industry crowd. “It’s very rare to have these kind of moments where so many cool things are happening in your life. We’re trying to soak it in and have fun with it.”
TR co-wrote his latest No. 1 song, “Star of the Show,” with his father, Rhett Akins, and Ben Hayslip. He told Nash Country Daily that the song holds more meaning now than when he first wrote it in November 2012, just a month after his wedding. As he explained, “Star of the Show” marks the moment he began writing love songs.
The singer recalled finishing his first record and admitted “Star of the Show” didn’t quite fit as it “was a progressive song at the time.” His fans loved the song, though, and rallied behind it, hoping it would still make his first or second album.
“I love when old songs like that resurface and you’re reminded that they are good,” TR said. “It was really cool to have that song live for so long and also be a song that I wrote with my dad and Ben Hayslip, who I’ve known since I was born. It’s a very special song for the three of us and really cool in the parameters in which we wrote it in that it took five years, basically, to record it but now here we are at a number one party for it.”
“T-Shirt” also had an interesting journey to making the cut for his second album, Tangled Up. As it turns out, Tim McGraw had the song on hold when TR initially wanted to cut it for his first album. Written by Ashley Gorley, Luke Laird and Shane McAnally, T-Rhett was convinced the song would never be his. As his father recalls, TR was “so bummed out.”
“I can’t stand to see him worry,” said Rhett Akins. “He’s the biggest worrier on earth. He’s been this way since he was born. I finally just said, ‘Thomas Rhett, there’s nothing you can do about it. If Tim cuts it, I don’t know what’s going to happen. The only thing we can do to solve this is to pray about it right now.'”
Rhett Akins says he and Ashley Gorley were on the road with his son and the three of them got in a huddle and prayed. The very next day, Tim decided not to cut the song, and TR then waited two years to put “T-Shirt” on his sophomore album.
“That song has been sort of a survivor for a very long time so I was so pumped we finally got to put it out as a single,” Thomas Rhett adds, before sharing the spotlight with the five other songwriters who penned the two No. 1 hits. “All these guys have more hits than how old I am. It’s such a room full of talented songwriters here today and I couldn’t be more blessed to be here with them.”