Chris Young Got His Start on ‘Nashville Star’

Before he was selling out tour dates and releasing chart-topping singles year after year, Chris Young earned his country music stripes by winning over judges and fans alike on the Nashville Star stage. The singing competition, which ran for six seasons and was compared to rival American Idol, launched many country music careers. 

Chris Young performing on stage
Chris Young | Rich Fury/Getty Images for ACM

Though Young might have gotten his big break from the show, he certainly didn’t rest once he got his chance to make it big. Now, the country music star is a household name who earned the right to call on his “Famous Friends” from time to time. 

Young was the winner of ‘Nashville Star’ Season 4

Back in the original heyday of American Idol there was another singing competition released on its heels that was geared directly toward the spur-studded, country-loving demographic.

Nashville Star ran on USA and later CMT from 2003 until 2008, according to IMDb. It was hosted over the course of its seasons by Nancy O’Dell, LeeAnn Rimes, and Billy Ray Cyrus, to name a few. 

The winner of the singing competition received a record deal and the chance to perform at the Grand Ole Opry — a hallowed performance venue for country music stars. Judges including Blake Shelton (before he went on to become a pillar on The Voice), Jewel, and John Rich offered critiques and mentorship along the way. 

In 2006 Young was crowned the Season 4 winner of the show at age 20, according to Country Now, and secured a record deal with RCA Records. He released his self-titled debut album later that same year, according to Taste of Country.

Young now boasts 8 studio albums and 21 hit singles

Though his first album wasn’t an overnight success, Young gained momentum with his second album in 2009, The Man I Want to Be. That album yielded his first No. 1 country music hits with “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” and “The Man I Want to Be.” Since that time, he has released singles almost every year that have landed in the top five or higher on country music charts. 

Young now has eight studio albums to his name, including a Christmas album. His most recent offering, Famous Friends, was released in 2021. The single of the same name was an instant hit, since Young is obviously famous now beyond Tennessee, but uses the song (in collaboration with Kane Brown) to call out the familiar faces from their hometowns who have achieved rock-star status in their communities. 

Young is currently on tour with ‘famous friends’ making appearances

Speaking of famous friends, Young is getting some of them to join him on tour stops and other performances. He recently performed with Garth Brooks, and country music legend Randy Travis caught a show. Young has also shared a mic with peers Jimmie Allen and Old Dominion. 

Young’s international tour is slated to make stops across the United States through July and August, with a few tour dates in the United Kingdom at the end of the summer. The “At the End of a Bar” singer announced some of his recent stops were sold out and is releasing new music as the summer goes on. That said, it will likely be a bit before we get another album, since those are normally released during a break from touring. 

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