Thomas Rhett Holds Himself to a Strict Moral Songwriting Code, Because He’s a Dad
Like any parent, Thomas Rhett hopes his daughters, Willa Gray and Ada James, grow up to think he's cool -- "Most kids don't, but you know, we definitely keep that in mind," the singer told The Boot and other outlets at a recent press conference -- but not at the expense of making anything less than wholesome music. Rhett keeps his family in mind when he's writing songs and deciding which of those songs to release.
"All [the songwriters I work with] can tell you that when we're writing a song and there's a line that doesn't fully represent my ethics, my morals -- it ain't gonna be in the song," Rhett shares. "It's just not."
Rhett's children are at the heart of that decision-making process, even if they're too young to understand his lyrics just yet. "As I'm making music, I wanna make sure that when my kids do hear the songs, there's nothing that they can go to school and say, 'Well, my dad said to do that.' That would destroy me, I think," he explains, adding that living up to that moral standard in every single lyric is something that he's argued with co-writers over in the past.
Luckily, one of Rhett's most frequent co-writers has an intimate knowledge of his family life and the moral code by which he lives: his dad, Rhett Akins. When Rhett himself was a kid growing up, Akins was a singer-songwriting performing his own country hits. At the press conference, Rhett admitted that he thought his dad was cool as a young adult, and then turned to his dad to ask if it felt that way to him at the time.
"When you were 20?" Akins responded. "I think only because of one reason, is because your college buddies thought it was awesome that y'all could ride a tour bus, and that he knew I was gonna pull him up onstage ... The fact that [he could say], 'Hey, do y'all wanna go to Chicago this weekend?' And they'd be like, 'Well, we don't have any money. How are we gonna get there?' And he's like, 'My dad's tour bus.'"
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