Music

Country star Thomas Rhett tells us the five artists that have most influenced him

Thomas Rhett embarks on a European tour next month (including dates in London, Manchester and Glasgow) and releases a deluxe version of his album, Tangled Up, this Friday.

Ahead of the tour, we sat down with the man in question – recently named by the BBC as Country music’s brightest star – to find out who’s influenced him over the years and discover some secrets about the music he loves.

The Rolling Stones

I’m just gonna try and think back, back to my childhood. I would say The Rolling Stones had a big impact on me as a songwriter and an entertainer. I think The Rolling Stones was the first concert I’d ever been to. I thought Mick Jagger was the first real entertainer that I ever got to witness. I think that a little bit of me from a young age wanted to be like Mick Jagger so I would definitely say The Rolling Stones were a big influence on me growing up.

Led Zeppelin

I’m not just saying Led Zeppelin to try to sound very British (haha)! This band definitely made me wanna be a rock star. John Bonham was the reason I wanted to play the drums in the first place and Robert Plant is obviously one of the best singers in the world, so he really inspired me.

James Brown

James Brown has always been a huge influence on me. I spent more time watching James Brown vids on YouTube than I have anything else. Studying the way he moves across the stage, his performance – the way you didn’t know if he was coming out and throwing a cape over his shoulders or just going to scream into the microphone – he made me want to be a showman, he brought out the pop singer in me that did not exist at a young age.

The Bee Gees

My grandmother was obsessed with The Bee Gees so my love for disco music came from that!

Frank Sinatra

Last but not least, I think Frank Sinatra shaped my romantic side of songwriting. Sinatra’s music has always just given me a lot of peace for some reason. I mean anytime at home, whether it’s drinking wine or eating food, it’s always Frank that’s on the stereo.

The UK leg of Thomas Rhett’s European tour kicks off at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire on 12 November. Get tickets now via Ticketmaster.co.uk.

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