Bailey Zimmerman Made a Change to Further His Country Career

Bailey Zimmerman has always had raw talent as a singer, but he changed one big thing about the way his voice sounded before he truly began to pursue country music stardom.

The up-and-comer shares that story with Kelleigh Bannen during a new installment of Today’s Country Radio on Apple Music. Zimmerman was recently named an Apple Music Up Next artist, and that’s just the latest accolade for the rising star, whose debut single, “Fall in Love,” rose to the No. 1 spot on the country charts in 2022.

But back in 2020, he was playing a show in Illinois when he had an encounter that changed the course of his career.

“I was singing for, like, three people and this dude that is also an artist named Dylan Wolfe from my hometown, he was like, ‘Dude, have you ever tried to be — like, actually sing?'” Zimmerman remembers, in a preview clip of the interview premiered by People.

“I was like, ‘No, man,'” he continues. “He was like, ‘Well, you need to take your braces off, because it’s giving you a lisp when you sing, but if you do that I think you can be an artist.'”

Zimmerman heeded that advice. It just so happened that he had an orthodontist appointment scheduled for the next day, and when he went into the doctor’s office, he said he wanted his braces to come off — even though the procedure would be expensive, and his teeth might not be as straight as they would have been if the braces stayed on.

“I was like, ‘Don’t care, take them off, I’m done,'” he recounts. “And a week later, I wrote my first song.”

Whether or not the braces — or lack thereof — had anything to do with it, Zimmerman’s career is undoubtedly on the rise in 2023. Starting in March, he’ll hit the road with Morgan Wallen as an opening act for the One Night at a Time Tour.

2023 Country Music Festivals Guide

Enjoy an updated list of country music’s best festivals, across America, Canada, Great Britain and more. This list of 2023 country fests will be updated to reflect postponements, cancelations or lineup adjustments.

Country’s Next Mother-Daughter Duo, O.N.E., Are Hip-Hop Royalty

Rising mother-daughter duo O.N.E. may still be an unfamiliar name in country music, but in hip hop, these two artists are already well-known. The band consists of Tekitha Washington, who served as the in-house female vocalist for rap giants Wu-Tang Clan during much of the late ’90s and early 2000s, and Prana Supreme Diggs, the young adult daughter Washington shares with Wu-Tang frontman RZA.

As they walked the 2022 CMA Awards carpet in November, the two singers spoke to Taste of Country about how their unique entry point into the country genre allows them extra freedom in their new career as a duo.

“I think my background with Wu-Tang Clan and within hip hop music allows me a different vantage point of how I’m approaching all music genres,” reflected Washington, whose 25 years of experience in the music business gives her a solid grasp on the workings of the industry while still allowing for a fresh perspective on country music.

“It also, I think, kind of gives us this foundation of no fear,” she continues. “A lot of freedom in how we approach the music, but we’re not locked into anything. We appreciate country and appreciate the genre, but we also are not afraid to give it some of us: The essence of who we are.”

Part of the artistry they learned from the hip hop world is coming with them into their new country career, Washington points out.

“I think hip hop music is a fearless genre of music itself, and is something that we are proud to represent here, in a country space. It’s really important to us,” she adds.

Now, the duo is at work on a full project, and they’ve enjoyed embracing some of country’s signature elements: Mandolin, pedal steel guitar and fiddle, “which is Mom’s favorite, hands down,” Diggs explains.

“So we love to experiment, try new things, and we were fortunate enough to work with songwriters and producers that also are open to experimenting within the country space,” the younger member of the duo goes on to say.

They worked with some titans of Nashville’s music industry: Brett Maher produced four songs on O.N.E.’s upcoming album, and Nash Overstreet — son of Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Paul Overstreet — handled a few more. Songwriters Hall of Famer John Bettis is a co-writer on the album, as is Shane Stevens, a songwriter who has worked with Carrie Underwood, Lady A and Walker Hayes.

“You’re gonna get country,” Washington promises, “but you’re gonna get this bright, fresh take on country. That’s what Prana and I are bringing to the table.”

“It’s definitely country and it’s definitely genre-bending,” Diggs agrees. “We’re hoping that people listen to that album, and they’ll walk away with an expanded definition of what country is.”

New music is due out from the duo in the Spring of 2023, but O.N.E. have already offered a taste of what’s to come, including their take on a classic country trope — the murder ballad — with their song, “Guilty.”

See the Top 50 Country Duets of All Time!

Chase Rice’s Music Video for ‘I Hate Cowboys’ Proves One Thing

Chase Rice hates cowboys like you hate a rival football team. It’s game recognizing game.

On Friday (Jan. 6), Rice revealed “I Hate Cowboys,” one of two songs that make up the title of his I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go to Hell album (Feb. 10). The new music video is nothing short of a tribute to cowboys — heck, he even worked with Cheyenne Frontier Days to grab the most captivating footage.

If the clip proves anything it’s that Rice doesn’t hate cowboys — he probably even wishes he was one. Several known rodeo stars ride bulls and broncs between shots of Rice walking around the ring, singing his song. If you look close enough, you’ll even spot Chris LeDoux.

Rice’s lyric explains that he hates cowboys because they’re always stealing his girl and he can’t do much to stop it. The power ballad is personal without feeling like the singer has ripped out a page from his diary. It’s almost amusing to hear him shrug his shoulders at some of the most iconic parts of that lifestyle.

“I hate cowboys / They think they’re scared of nothing / They run their mouths about bulls buckin’ / But eight seconds ain’t that long / I wish they’d stay their a– at home,” he sings to close verse one.

Across what Rice is calling his most authentic record yet, he strips away layers of production that often covered up what he was trying to say. The result — at least as we’ve heard it so far — has been a more dynamic mix of songs and styles.

“There’s no tracks anymore. I’m done with the track world. That was a phase of my life and it’s in the past,” he told Taste of Country to close 2022.

To introduce the song, Rice appeared on Good Morning America and explained why he chose a photo of his father for the album’s cover. As host Michael Strahan (a former football player for the New York Giants) introduced the song, the studio snickered.

“I hate Cowboys too, but it’s a different kind,” he says, referring to the rival Dallas Cowboys.

“Key West & Colorado,” “Way Down Yonder” and “If I Were Rock & Roll” are three more songs from I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go to Hell that Rice has already shared. He says to expect a heavy dose of the new music when he begins his Way Down Yonder Tour in March.

50 Classic Country Artists Today’s Fans Should Know

Today’s country music stars owe a debt of gratitude to the legends who formed and cultivated the genre, starting in the early 20th century. These 50 classic country artists remain relevant today. Some developed a style that’s emulated on today’s country radio. Others set a bar for vocal talent or songwriting skill.

This list of 50 influential classic country artists features country music singers who started their careers before 1990. It’s ranked by each artist’s current influence on the country music format today, not individual, lifelong impact. Tell us where we got it right or wrong on Twitter.

Brantley Gilbert’s New Year’s Goals Include New Music

Brantley Gilbert dropped a somewhat surprise album in November called So Help Me God, and the singer is already looking ahead to new music in 2023. Gilbert will head to Texas to write more music in February, but he says been working on new tunes since before he released his latest project.

“I’m excited about getting ready to go write in February, another Texas trip,” he says in an interview with his record label. “That usually starts the process, so we’ll be working on a new record. I’ve already been working on it since we finalized the tracklist for this one. I’m always working on what’s next.”

So Help Me God features a total of 10 tracks, and he announced the project just one week before its arrival on Nov. 10. Despite its quick release, Gilbert said he had been working on the album for a couple of years.

“I’ve always taken a little longer than most artists, especially in this genre, to put an album out, and that’s partly to do with me being a perfectionist,” Gilbert said at the time. “But we’ve been looking forward to getting this album out for a long time. I’ve been blessed to sit down with some of the best writers in the country, and I feel like we’ve written some wonderful stuff.”

The album features collaborations with Blake Shelton and Vince Gill, Jason Aldean, Toby Keith and Hardy and breakout singer Jelly Roll, and Gilbert says there’s plenty of new music to come in 2023.

“To be honest with you, there’s so much in the windshield I don’t have time to look in the rearview,” he says. “There’s a lot in front of us. I got a lot of work to do.”

Gilbert wrapped up a co-headlining tour with Five Finger Death Punch on Dec. 17 in Las Vegas. So far, he has a handful of tour dates on the books for 2023 in February and June.

Top 22 Country Songs of 2022, Ranked

There are plenty of feel-good country jams on this list of the top country songs of 2022, but the No. 1 song is one of the best love songs of the decade. These 22 songs are ranked by critical acclaim, radio and sales success, and importance to the genre.
Seven of the 22 artists made our Top Country Songs list from 2021, as well, but there are no song repeats. If a song made a previous list (or didn’t spend most of its time on the charts in 2022), it’s not eligible. So, before you ask where your favorite song is (i.e. Cody Johnson, “‘Til You Can’t”), be sure the miss isn’t just a technicality.

Reyna Roberts Says It Took Time to Find Musical Self-Confidence

Reyna Roberts is getting comfortable being herself in her music — but it took some time before she was ready to show all the different sides of her artistic identity in her songs. The singer points to her recently-released “Pretty Little Devils” as an example of a song she might have been too timid to put out a couple of years ago.

“I feel like I had to discover myself more and get comfortable enough to actually put it out,” Roberts told Taste of Country on the red carpet before the 2022 CMA Awards in November. “I’ve always wanted to make sure that people see me as more classy, more in that vein, and I still believe that the new music and new songs have class to them. But at the same time, it shows a little bit more of my wilder side. Since I’ve never had confidence, it took me a minute to get there, to express that side of me.”

That “wilder side” is about more than just risque lyrics like “This ain’t the same old hoedown throwdown / Got my pretty little devils on the pole now.” It’s also about creating genre fusion, bringing a trap beat and pulsing, rhythmic vocal delivery to Roberts’ twangy foundation.

For the singer, who grew up listening to country mainstays like the Chicks and Gretchen Wilson, it was important to establish her country bona fides, but equally important to create a diverse body of work.

“Especially when I first got to Nashville — because I love traditional country, I wanted to have songs that were traditional country,” she explains. “But the more I found my sound, working with multiple people in Nashville, my sound started to expand.”

Roberts has realized that building a country music foundation doesn’t necessarily mean always making traditional country music. She’s rubbed elbows with legends of the genre, touring with country mainstay Reba McEntire, whose career is a reminder that country artists can cross over into pop, and even TV and movie roles, without abandoning their roots.

But as much self-confidence as she’s gained from the support of legends like McEntire, Roberts says her biggest boost came from learning to believe in herself.

“Definitely getting acceptance and help from other artists gives me more confidence in myself,” she continues, “but then also realizing, like, ‘Hey, you’re a pretty bada– girl!’ Just having to remind myself [to not] feel too shy all the time, not going back to my introvert self, saying, ‘Girl, you got this! Remember who you are!’ That’s been an essential for my mental state.”

Now hard at work on her next album, Roberts hopes that that journey of self-love and self-acceptance will show up loud and clear in the new music she’s planning to release in 2023.

“A hundred percent. A thousand percent,” she says with a grin, adding that she’s no longer afraid to make her own genre rules in her music. “… Outlaw country, classy country, trap country — it’s gonna be all the things.”

Who Is Reyna Roberts? 5 Things You Need to Know:

10 Best Country Albums of 2022

The best country albums of 2022 have something in common: they were made with little regard for commercial success or record sales.

In some cases that’s because the artist didn’t have the infrastructure to run a song up to No. 1 on radio airplay charts. Three independent artists make this Top 10 list and a fourth album is the kind of album you’d expect from an indy. Only one artist found below notched a solo No. 1 country airplay hit this year.

Honorable mentions go to full length albums by Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett (EPs were not considered) but artists that valued creativity and a cohesive vision across nine, 11 or even 17 songs were rewarded with recognition. Lainey Wilson and Miranda Lambert are two hitmakers who did just that. Muscadine Bloodline and American Aquarium are two you may not have heard of that shaped country music in a big way this year.

The lesson is country fans need to look deeper for the most daring, creative music of 2022. Taste of Country’s list of the Best Country Albums of 2022 features 10 critically acclaimed albums, with only the slightest consideration given to sales success. A team of staff writers worked together to shape the list.

Best Country Albums of 2022 – Critic’s Picks

This list of country music’s best albums from 2022 separates artists who aim to make great albums from those simply looking to record great songs. Only one artist found below notched a solo No. 1 country airplay hit this year. Popularity doesn’t always equal quality.

It’s not that albums from country music’s most notable hitmakers aren’t any good. Count Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett as strong honorable mentions for this list but both were edged out by a group that in some ways didn’t have to worry about the confines of commercial success. Randy Houser and Muscadine Bloodline are independant artists. American Aquarium is too and Ashley McBryde released the sort of album you’d expect from an indy act. 

The lesson is country fans need to look deeper for the most daring, creative music of 2022. 

Top 22 Country Songs of 2022, Ranked

There are plenty of feel-good country jams on this list of the top country songs of 2022, but the No. 1 song is one of the best love songs of the decade. These 22 songs are ranked by critical acclaim, radio and sales success, and importance to the genre.
Seven of the 22 artists made our Top Country Songs list from 2021, as well, but there are no song repeats. If a song made a previous list (or didn’t spend most of its time on the charts in 2022), it’s not eligible. So, before you ask where your favorite song is (i.e. Cody Johnson, “‘Til You Can’t”), be sure the miss isn’t just a technicality.

The Top-Selling Digital Country Songs of 2022 Revealed

Walker Hayes is holding down the top two spots on Billboard‘s year-end Country Digital Songs chart. His working-class anthem-turned-unstoppable-juggernaut, “Fancy Like,” is the top-selling song of 2022. Following close behind is “AA,” its equally hooky follow-up single, whose No. 2 spot on the chart proves once and for all that “Fancy Like” was no fluke.

Hayes was undeniably among the biggest breakouts from the country format this year, but he’s not the only newer artist to claim a top spot on the 2022 year-end charts. Cody Johnson comes in at No. 3 with “‘Til You Can’t,” a song that achieved both commercial success and critical acclaim, even bringing him a 2023 Grammy Best Country Song nomination to close out the year.

More of 2022’s biggest hits claim the bulk of the rest of the Top 10, though there is one older song on the list. That’s Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey,” which comes in at No. 8. The song launched Stapleton to superstardom in 2015 and has demonstrated astonishing staying power, holding a place on a year-end chart a full seven years after its initial release.

Billboard‘s list of Top 10 Country Airplay hits from 2022 includes very few female artists, and the year-end Digital Songs chart is even bleaker: No women hold a space in the Top 10, not even as a guest performer on a song. The only female-fronted songs to make it into the Top 25 are Taylor Swift’s Taylor’s Version of “All Too Well” and Miranda Lambert and Elle King’s “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home),” coming in at No. 13 and No. 16, respectively.

Additionally, Carrie Underwood gets a mention as the featured artist on the Jason Aldean-led “If I Didn’t Love You” (No. 19), and Lainey Wilson shows up twice: Once for “Wait in the Truck,” her duet with Hardy (No. 24) and “Never Say Never,” her duet with Cole Swindell (No. 25).

On this year-end chart, Swindell fares better alone: His “She Had Me at Heads Carolina,” his reinterpretation of Jo Dee Messina’s ’90s classic, “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” comes in at No. 6. Jordan Davis claims the No. 5 spot with “Buy Dirt,” his Luke Bryan duet, and Luke Combs slides into the ninth place with “The Kind of Love We Make.”

Meanwhile, Morgan Wallen makes up for a comparatively modest showing on the year-end chart for radio airplay, occupying more spots in the Top 10 of the year-end Digital Songs chart than any other artist. “You Proof” earns the No. 4 spot, with “Wasted on You” following at No. 5; “Sand in My Boots” marks his third entry inside the year-end Top 10, coming in tenth place.

Scroll down to see the Top 10 songs on the 2022 year-end list for the Billboard Country Digital Songs chart.

Top 10 Highest-Selling Country Digital Songs Chart, per Billboard:

10. “Sand in My Boots,” Morgan Wallen
9. “The Kind of Love We Make,” Luke Combs
8. “Tennessee Whiskey,” Chris Stapleton
7. “Buy Dirt,” Jordan Davis feat. Luke Bryan
6. “She Had Me at Heads Carolina,” Cole Swindell
5. “Wasted on You,” Morgan Wallen
4. “You Proof,” Morgan Wallen
3. “‘Til You Can’t,” Cody Johnson
2. “AA,” Walker Hayes
1. “Fancy Like,” Walker Hayes

Top 22 Country Songs of 2022, Ranked

There are plenty of feel-good country jams on this list of the top country songs of 2022, but the No. 1 song is one of the best love songs of the decade. These 22 songs are ranked by critical acclaim, radio and sales success, and importance to the genre.
Seven of the 22 artists made our Top Country Songs list from 2021, as well, but there are no song repeats. If a song made a previous list (or didn’t spend most of its time on the charts in 2022), it’s not eligible. So, before you ask where your favorite song is (i.e. Cody Johnson, “‘Til You Can’t”), be sure the miss isn’t just a technicality.

The 10 Most-Played Country Airplay Songs of 2022 Revealed

Several country radio mainstays — and a couple of out-of-left-field dark horses — dominated the Billboard Country Airplay Charts in 2022, according to year-end data released by Billboard Country Update.

It should come as no surprise that Jason Aldean and Luke Combs place highly on this list. Both stalwarts at country radio and staple touring acts, chart-topping success seemed all but an inevitability for these two artists in 2022 — and they delivered, with hits solidly within the Top 10 most-played songs.

Combs’ “The Kind of Love We Make” places fifth, with an overall audience of 426.64 million — and especially impressive feat, given that the song hit the radio airwaves in June, so fans only had half a year to hear it.

Meanwhile, Aldean comes in at No. 9 with “Trouble With a Heartbreak,” with an audience of 405.84 million. That song was his only Top 10 most-played single, but his duet with Carrie Underwood, “If I Didn’t Love You,” follows not far behind at No. 16.

Another radio favorite, Morgan Wallen, slides into the No. 8 spot with “Wasted on You.” Two more Wallen tracks, “You Proof” and “Sand in My Boots,” fall just outside the Top 10. If those seem like low numbers for the ever-ubiquitous Wallen, it’s worth noting that early on in 2022, some stations weren’t playing his music as a result of the racist slur scandal that he incurred the previous February, which led many stations to remove his songs from playlists in 2021.

Throwback songs did well on the radio in 2022, and two artists in particular — Scotty McCreery and Cole Swindell — reaped the benefits. Swindell earns the No. 6 spot on the year-end chart with “She Had Me at Heads Carolina,” his ode to Jo Dee Messina’s 1996 hit,”Heads Carolina, Tails California.” McCreery made out even better, leaping to No. 4 with “Damn Strait,” his heartbreak ballad that tips its hat to the King of Country himself.

Country music’s female artists are perennially overlooked at country radio compared to their male counterparts, and once again, they are few and far between on this list of the Top 10 most-played songs of 2022. MacKenzie Porter gets a mention at No. 2 as the featured artist on Dustin Lynch’s “Thinking ‘Bout You,” though her ranking would be more satisfying to equality-minded country fans if it were a song she took the lead on.

The 10th spot on the list does go to a song by Ingrid Andress, with a feature from Sam Hunt: The pulsing, broody earworm, “Wishful Drinking,” which became Andress’ second No. 1 hit — and Hunt’s 10th — earlier in 2022.

Hunt also appears within the Top 10 solo, courtesy of his No. 1 hit ballad “23,” which he put out in late 2021. Hunt’s track record at country radio is excellent but a little spotty; he has made radio history with songs like the record-breaking juggernaut “Body Like a Back Road,” but he’s also been known to go dark for months or even a year at a time, so the fact that he placed not one but two singles in the Top 10 most-played list for 2022 is a little surprising.

The real shocker, though, comes courtesy of the No. 1 Billboard Country Airplay song of the year: Parmalee’s “Take My Name.” The song has earned the top spot by a fairly wide margin, netting an audience of 609.52 million, compared to the No. 2 song, “Thinking ‘Bout You,” which brought in 534.61.

After a years-long stretch of lukewarm radio singles, the country rock act rebranded in 2019, ultimately putting out a duet with Blanco Brown called “Just the Way” late that year. Over the course of 2020, the song embarked on a slow, but ultimately successful climb to the top of the charts, and with the success of “Take My Name,” Parmalee prove that their success was no fluke.

Scroll down to see the Top 10 songs on the 2022 year-end list for the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

Top 10 Most-Played Country Airplay Songs of 2022, per Billboard :

10. “Wishful Drinking,” Ingrid Andress with Sam Hunt
9. “Trouble With a Heartbreak,” Jason Aldean
8. “Wasted on You,” Morgan Wallen
7. “23,” Sam Hunt
6. “She Had Me at Heads Carolina,” Cole Swindell
5. “The Kind of Love We Make,” Luke Combs
4. “Damn Strait,” Scotty McCreery
3. “‘Til You Can’t,” Cody Johnson
2. “Thinking ‘Bout You,” Dustin Lynch ft. MacKenzie Porter
1. “Take My Name,” Parmalee

Top 22 Country Songs of 2022, Ranked

There are plenty of feel-good country jams on this list of the top country songs of 2022, but the No. 1 song is one of the best love songs of the decade. These 22 songs are ranked by critical acclaim, radio and sales success, and importance to the genre.
Seven of the 22 artists made our Top Country Songs list from 2021 as well, but there are no repeats. If a song made a previous list or didn’t spend most of its time on the charts in 2022, it’s not eligible. So, before you ask where your favorite song is (i.e. Cody Johnson, “‘Til You Can’t), be sure the miss isn’t just a technicality.

Television’s ‘The Goldbergs’ Are Set to Go Country

Wednesday night’s (Nov. 2) episode of The Goldbergs will find the ABC family at a country and western bar, line dancing. Exclusive photos shared first by Taste of Country recall the glory of 1980s country music and the early line dancing craze.

Beverly Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey) can be seen throughout the four photos shared here. The new episode — titled “Rhinestones and Roses” — finds her feeling a bit sensitive about her age and role as grandmother, so she heads to a country-western bar to reclaim her youth.

The Goldbergs airs on Wednesday nights on ABC at 8:30PM ET and then on demand on Hulu the next day.


ABC / Scott Everett White

Goldberg neighbors and friends Ginzy (Jennifer Irwin), Linda (Mindy Sterling) and Essie (Stephanie Courtney) are also featured in these pictures, as is Jane Bales, as played by Erinn Hayes. The photo below finds Beverly with comic Mark Sipka, who is playing an emcee during the episode.

Longtime fans of the show, the Jenkinstown family and country music will appreciate the throwback to a time when rhinestones were fashionable, not just a cheeky nod to a more flamboyant past. While it’s never really stated which year the Goldbergs live in, one immediately thinks of artists like George Strait, Reba McEntire and Randy Travis when they think of ’80s country music. We’ve included a list of our favorite ’80s country songs below.


ABC / Scott Everett White


ABC / Scott Everett White

See 50 Essential ’80s Country Songs

It’s 50 country songs from the 1980s, from 50 different 80s artists. Check out this list of essential 80s country music, curated by the Taste of County team.

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Hank Williams Jr.’s Son, Sam Williams, Comes Out as Gay

Hank Williams Jr.’s son, country singer Sam Williams, has come out as gay in the music video for his new song, “Tilted Crown,” and a subsequent interview.

Williams’ new video loosely documents his growing up, and it shows him kissing his boyfriend on camera for the first time.

As People reports, Williams spoke to Hunter Kelly on Apple Music’s Proud Radio With Hunter Kelly podcast, where he revealed that he had previously planned to address his sexuality in a video for another song that did not come to pass. The directors of his new video felt strongly that including the kiss would help tell the authentic story of his life.

“At first I kind of thought that, ‘I’m tackling something else with this.’ And I thought that maybe that’s for another project,” Williams states. “But again, I felt like I was promoting invisibility, like I wasn’t being visible and wasn’t being myself. And I just thought it was the perfect opportunity to just show who I was.”

Williams tells Kelly that his pronouns are he/him and that he identifies as gay.

“And I’ve never said that to anybody else,” he admits. “I mean, people at my label know and people in my personal life know, but this is the first time that I’ve ever been, besides a show or two, that I’ve ever been this public about it. And it is scary, but it feels good.”

Williams grew up in the rural town of Paris, Tenn., and he says that he struggled to hide his sexuality and fit in with the crowd growing up. He’s hoping that his coming out openly can help another child who might be struggling with the same issues right now.

“So I think at the end of the day, that’s one of the most important reasons why I’m being so open,” the 25-year-old singer shares.

The “Tilted Crown” music video also touches on his relationship with his sister, Katie, who died in a car crash in 2020. Williams tells Kelly that he came out to his sister while they were four-wheeling in Alabama just months before her death. Her reaction was “so emotional,” he recalls.

“I think that she could see pain that I was in from hiding that and just had no idea. And I was like, ‘There’s been some situations that have made me uncomfortable, and I just want you to know.’ And I could just see that there was such a pain there of not knowing,”

Williams’ “Tilted Crown” video also depicts an older man who actively tries to push the young boy character to act more “manly.” He’s received feedback from fans who believe that’s a depiction of his own relationship with his famous father, which he says isn’t entirely accurate.

“That’s not necessarily playing my dad, that’s playing society as a whole,” he explains, adding that society expects and encourages certain behaviors in young girls, and a separate set of behaviors for young boys, regardless of whether or not they fit those children’s individual interests.

“My relationship with my dad wasn’t really like that at all,” he adds. “He didn’t push me to be in music. He pushed me go to hunting, I do have to give him that. He did push me to go hunting. I just wanted to clear that up just in case… It’s a little bit hard for me to watch because it’s just so honest, and it just brings back so much, and it’s all there on the surface.”

Williams released his latest project, Glasshouse Children: Tilted Crown, on Oct. 14. His interview on Apple Music’s Proud Radio With Hunter Kelly airs on Sunday (Oct. 30) at 5PM ET.

11 Country Singers Who’ve Come Out as Gay:

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