Since Cole Swindell's first single "Chillin' It" in 2014, he's made an incredible breakthrough as one of the most popular new artists in country music. Swindell has already had multiple top-five singles including "You Should Be Here," "Flatliner," "Middle of a Memory," "Flatliner" (featuring Dierks Bentley), "Ain't Worth the Whiskey," and "Hope You Get Lonely Tonight" -- and he's just getting started.
He's got five Down Home Session EP's and three studio albums under his belt, including Cole Swindell (2014), You Should Be Here (2016), and All of It (2018), as well as two headlining tours. He's also been a supporting act on tours for Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, and Dierks Bentley. The man is on fire. This year he has his second headlining tour coming up, The Down to Earth Tour with Hardy and Trea Landon, and is even joining Hardy on Thomas Rhett's Center Point Road Tour.
Here are some things you might not know about Cole Swindell.
1. Cole is a nickname
His birth name is actually Colden Rainey Swindell, but he goes by Cole for short.
2. He's a huge Alan Jackson fan
In 2015, Swindell posted a throwback photo on Instagram of the time he dressed up as his "hero" for a college social. And years later he actually got to perform with Alan Jackson...pretty cool!
"This pic was from a "My Hero" social in college! I dressed up as Alan Jackson.. This weekend I get to sing a song with him. If that ain't cool I don't know what is.. #AJ"
3. He was in Luke Bryan's fraternity
Swindell and Bryan were both members of Sigma Chi at Georgia Southern University, but Bryan was a few years older. Bryan stopped by his old stomping grounds while Swindell was a student and ended up playing a song for his frat brothers. Swindell was blown away and decided that's what he wanted to do: play country music just like Luke Bryan...who wasn't even famous yet!
"That night I remember seeing him play live and I was like, 'This guy's an unbelievable entertainer,'" Swindell told Taste of Country. "I was honestly like, 'Man he's a star,' the first time I saw him.'"
4. Luke Bryan got him his first post-college job
After securing his marketing degree, Swindell packed his bags for Nashville. Luckily he had stayed in touch with Bryan, who gave him a job as his merch guy on tour.
Read More: The 10 Best Cole Swindell Songs
5. His first big gig in country music was as a songwriter
For three years, Swindell worked on writing songs while traveling on the road with Bryan. But in 2010, he got himself a publishing deal with Sony. Over the next three years, he wrote country songs for some prominent artists, including Luke Bryan, of course.
Luke Bryan: "Just a Sip," "Beer in the Headlights," "Roller Coaster," "Out Like That," "I'm Hungover," "In Love with the Girl," "Love in a College Town," "Shore Thing," "Shake the Sand" and "The Sand I Brought to the Beach"
Thomas Rhett: "Get Me Some of That"
Scotty McCreery: "Water Tower Town" and "Carolina Eyes"
Florida Georgia Line: "This Is How We Roll" (co-written with Luke Bryan)
6. Luke Bryan continues to play a consistent role in his career
In 2013, Swindell signed with Warner Music Nashville. Luke Bryan's guitarist, Michael Carter, even helped produce Swindell's self-titled debut album in 2014. That same year he joined Lee Brice to open Luke Bryan's That's My Kind of Night Tour.
Swindell told Wide Open Country that Bryan has been an inspiration as well as an incredible teacher over the years.
"I remember asking his advice on songwriting, and he only told me one word, "Live." The older I get, the more I realize how true that is. To write songs, you got to live, and I think Luke Bryan is a perfect example of that."
Bryan is clearly an amazing role model because Swindell won the Best New Artist Award at the ACM Awards in 2015 and was nominated for the same honor at the CMA Awards the following year.
7. Florida Georgia Line tweeted out his number
In 2016, the guys from Florida Georgia Line hilariously tweeted out Swindell's number as a prank following the release of his song, "You've Got My Number."
Apparently, fans went wild and made a ton of calls. Luckily Swindell was a good sport about it!