In the ever-evolving landscape of country music, there are artists who bring a unique blend of talent, determination and a touch of the unexpected. One such artist is Adam Doleac, whose journey from an athlete to musician has been nothing short of remarkable. With a recent debut performance at CMA Fest and the new release of his highly anticipated single "Biggest Fan," Doleac is well on his way to captivating fans and establishing his presence in the country music scene.
In a recent interview with Wide Open Country, he shared his thoughts on his involvement in CMA Fest, the influence of his sports background on his music career, and the transformative power of collaboration.
"It's always a really fun thing," Doleac said of CMA Fest. "All of the best country fans in the world are in the same city for the week."
CMA Fest commemorated its 50th Anniversary with a record-breaking celebration and incredible performances by artists like Miranda Lambert, who brought surprise guests Leon Bridges ("If You Were Mine"), Elle King ("Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)"), and Avril Lavigne "(Kerosine and Sk8er Boi)" and Cody Johnson, who brought out surprise guest Reba McEntire.
The release of Doleac's newest single "Biggest Fan," which he describes as "a love letter to [his] wife" coincided with the first day of CMA Fest, where he held a special release party to meet and mingle with his fans.
"Everybody has a 'biggest fan' and is the biggest fan of somebody," he said, adding "I think life is pretty hard if you don't have somebody in your corner pulling for you."
In a remarkable turn of events, Doleac defied expectations when he embarked on a captivating journey into his music career. Unlike many artists who found their artistic passions at a tender age, Doleac's path took a more unconventional route.
"I'm not the person that started singing when I was two," Doleac says. "I played sports growing up and had a full ride to play golf in college, [then] my friends talked me into playing baseball."
As Doleac immersed himself into the world of college baseball, even playing in the 2009 college world series, his teammates and roommates, who were also skilled guitarists, recognized his unique talent when he would sing along with them and encouraged him to explore a career in singing.
"They actually booked my first shows for me," Doleac says. "Three shows in my hometown of Hattiesburg, Miss. People knew me from baseball — and they all sold out."
It was through the unwavering support of his baseball fans turned music fans and the support of his friends that set the stage for his remarkable course in the industry.
"That was my first pitch that I got from music," he says.
Drawing parallels between his sports background and his music career, Doleac highlighted the importance of discipline and perseverance.
"I think discipline is important in anything that you're doing," he says.
Having experienced being an underdog in baseball, he embraced the same mindset when transitioning to music.
"I think it's really fun to work at something that maybe nobody thinks you can do," Doleac says. "It drives me a little bit. I had that in baseball, and I think that's a big reason why I got to where I am. I've always kind of kept a chip on my shoulder. And the good thing about the music industry is that there's always something more to shoot for, there's always a little bit more to do the next day."
Doleac is known for co-writing for and with renowned artists such as Darius Rucker "(Don't") and Lainey Wilson ("Live Off"), which has been an affirming experience for him.
"When somebody else reacts to [your song], that's the kind of thing you want to see," he says. "It's great to be a part of their ride as well."
As an idea-driven songwriter, Doleac values the importance of a strong title and the subsequent creation of compelling lyrics. When collaborating with other artists, he finds joy in learning from their unique approaches.
"You can learn so much from just watching people that have had success, even if it's just being around them or getting to write a song with them," Doleac says.
Through his unique journey from sports to music, Doleac has remained resilient. The recent success of what he joked was his "first headlining tour" and the devoted fanbase he has cultivated over the course of both his sports and music careers are testaments to his talent and the power of his music. As he sets his sights on new goals, including reaching No. 1 on mainstream radio, he remains grateful and grounded.
"There's a lot of things to be said about the world right now, but I will say one thing that has come out of all this in the last few years — it's never been cooler to be exactly who you are," Doleac said. "If it's authentic, people will likely love it and embrace it. That's what we're trying to do as artists, to tell the truth and tell our own stories. I've got several [songs] that are in the works right now. It's going to be a really fun year."
READ MORE: Schoolteacher Turned Honky-Tonk Queen Summer Dean's 'The Biggest Life' Celebrates Women Who Don't Conform
Enjoy Country Music?
Sign up for daily stories delivered straight to your inbox.