Georgia country artists have been dominating country music in recent years.
So what is it about the Peach State’s backwoods and red clay that produces so many country artists? Whether you’re in the mountains of Dahlonega or the flatlands of Valdosta, the suburbs of Atlanta or the country roads of Leesburg, you’re a stone’s throw away from a country artist’s birthplace.
Here are 10 artists who come from different areas of this great state.
Tyler Hubbard (Monroe)
The Georgia half of Florida Georgia line hails from Walton County, a halfway point between Atlanta and Athens.
Before attending Belmont University in Nashville, Hubbard attended George Walton Academy and graduated from Loganville Christian Academy. While residing in Walton County, Hubbard attended Loganville First Baptist Church and played several different sports.
Despite leaving the small town, Hubbard stays true to his roots. A portion of the 2013 video “Round Here” was filmed in the Monroe area.
Jason Aldean (Macon)
Macon is known as the home of the Allman Brothers Band, but Jason Aldean has brought the Central Georgia city plenty of recognition as well.
Raised as Jason Williams, Aldean attended the Windsor Academy, a private school, which was also attended by television personality Nancy Grace.
Although Aldean has left the “Central City”, he’s still a loyal fan of his home state. In 2013, he headlined the first-ever Between the Hedges concert at Athens’ Sanford Stadium, and he remains a die-hard Georgia Bulldog fan.
Aldean also name drops towns in some of his songs such as Rome in “Country Boy’s World” and Brunswick in “She’s Country.”
Luke Bryan (Leesburg)
Luke Bryan grew up in Leesburg near the Alabama border.
Before attending Georgia Southern University and reaching country music stardom in Nashville, the singer of “Kick the Dust Up” was a Trojan at Lee County High School.
Leesburg is a town of fewer than 3,000 people and is far away from any major city. Bryan references his hometown in the song “Muckalee Creek Water,” a creek he often visited in Lee County.
Brantley Gilbert (Jefferson)
If you drive up U.S. Hwy 129 from Athens to neighboring Jackson County, you’ll reach the hometown of Brantley Gilbert.
Gilbert attended Jefferson High School, home of the Dragons, where he played baseball and football. After graduation, he made the rounds in the music scene of nearby Athens. He also worked as a special needs counselor in Flowery Branch.
Gilbert continues to pay homage to his home region. The music video for “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do”, was filmed at the Georgia Theatre in Athens.
Jefferson is also the hometown of noted Georgia Country artist Corey Smith.
Colt Ford (Athens)
About 15 minutes south of Jefferson in the heart of Bulldog Nation lies the home of country rap artist Colt Ford.
Jason Farris Brown was an athlete long before he became Colt Ford. He graduated from Clarke Central High School, which lies in the shadows of UGA’s Greek Row.
At his athletic peak, Ford played professional golf, competing nationally. In 2008, Ford started taking the Georgia country scene by storm. Shortly after, he gained national notoriety by collaborating with Montgomery Gentry and Jamey Johnson.
Thomas Rhett (Valdosta)
The son of country singer-songwriter Rhett Atkins, Thomas Rhett Atkins Jr. takes pride in his South Georgia roots. Rhett is from Valdosta attended, which is near the Florida line off Interstate.
Rhett’s father, who sang “That Ain’t My Truck”, was a walk-on at the University of Georgia. Thomas Rhett remains loyal to his bulldog roots. Much like his father, Rhett is enjoying a successful career. He has had three number one country singles.
Kip Moore (Tifton)
Tifton is more than a stop on the lonely stretch of Interstate 75 between Macon and Valdosta; it’s the home of “Something About a Truck”, singer Kip Moore.
The song, which was Moore’s first single, is about a crush he had on a girl while living in Tifton.
Also, his first performance was at the Mellow Mushroom in Valdosta at the Mellow Mushroom.
Billy Currington (Rincon)
Although he was born in Savannah, Billy Currington was raised in neighboring Effingham County in Rincon.
After graduating from Effingham County High School, the “People are Crazy” singer got his start performing at the Cavalier Country Club in Savannah. The club burned down in 2009.
Throughout his career, Currington has represented Georgia well with a handful of number one singles.
Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley (Evans)
Evans natives Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley make up two-thirds of the immensely popular group Lady Antebellum.
The pair graduated from Lakeside High School in Columbia County, which lies just outside of Augusta. After graduating, both would attend the University of Georgia. In 2006, they would form Lady Antebellum with Nashville native Hillary Scott.
The Georgiana region, which consists of East Georgia and its border with South Carolina, has produced many famous musicians, most notably Augusta’s James Brown.
Zac Brown (Cumming/Dahlonega)
Zac Brown was born in Atlanta and spent his childhood in Forsyth and Lumpkin Counties in North Georgia. He would begin high school at South Forsyth in Cumming and graduated from Lumpkin County High School in Dahlonega.
After graduating, Brown attended the University of West Georgia in Carrollton and worked at different summer camps around North Georgia.