Go ahead and type Center Point Road into your GPS. It’ll pull up a nondescript street in Hendersonville, Tennessee, leading away from Nashville’s suburban sprawl at the north edge of Old Hickory Lake. It won’t mean much to you or me, but for country star Thomas Rhett, there was a time when it was everything.
With 13 smash No. Ones hits, an armload of awards including current ACM Awards Male Artist of the Year, and a growing reputation for electrifying headline tours, he’s spent the last seven years evolving from a kid on Center Point Road into a sonic trailblazer, and country radio’s most-played artist of 2018. Three adventurous album cycles have come and gone, and each time he’s mined his upbringing for inspiration. But now, with what can truly be described as an autobiographical fourth studio album, he’s looking back with renewed clarity.
“It’s kind of getting back to my roots in a way,” Thomas Rhett explains. “Center Point Road is a little street in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and it’s where I did all my growing up – first kisses, first dates, first time driving to school when you turn 16, all the stuff that made me into the person I am.”
The follow up to his Grammy-nominated, Platinum-selling #1 album Life Changes, Center Point Road, which debuted atop the Billboard 200, is indeed a return to Thomas Rhett’s roots. All those moments and more are revealed through a series of deeply-personal twists and turns – but this project isn’t about pining for glory days. It’s about knowing where you came from and who you really are, regardless of how much has changed. It’s about pushing forward, chasing crazy dreams and raising a family, and staying true to yourself in the process.
Rhett found his way to a professional music career when Decca Records (which had been reactivated then) heard one of his demos. He dropped his first album, A Thousand Memories, in 1995. The record was critically acclaimed and produced four chart singles including his first No. 1 hit, “That Ain’t My Truck,” which he also co-wrote. The song has since become Rhett’s signature song but his success story was just getting started. The following year he released Somebody New which produced another No. 1 hit, “Don’t Get Me Started.”
Overall Rhett has had an extremely impressive career. He’s not just been a successful solo artist, he’s also written chart toppers for some big names. Rhett has had 31 No. 1 singles (and counting), which is remarkable! Some of them include, Luke Bryan’s “I Don’t Want This Night to End and Huntin’ Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day,” Chris Young’s “I Can Take it From There,” Justin Moore’s “Point at You,”, Dustin Lynch’s “Mindreader” and Locash’s “I Know Somebody”. Rhett’s also responsible for Blake Shelton’s “All About Tonight,” “Boys ‘Round Here” and “Honey Bee,” the latter of which spent a total of four weeks at No. 1. His Jason Aldean cuts include “When She Says Baby,” “Just Gettin’ Started” and “Tonight Looks Good on You.” He had another three week No. 1 with Thomas Rhett’s “It Goes Like This.” He also wrote TR’s “Get Me Some of That” and “Star Of The Show” which was co-written with, Thomas Rhett and their first No. 1 together. In 2017, John Pardi’s “Dirt On My Boots” went No.1 and later that year, Dustin Lynch’s “Small Town Boy” spent 4 weeks at #1 on Billboard. Rhett celebrated with Thomas Rhett and fellow co-writers his 29th number one, “Life Changes” in 2018 and his 30th #1 with in the summer of 2019, “Look What God Gave Her”. In November of 2019, Rhett celebrated his 31st #1 with Brantley Gilbert’s “What Happens In A Small Town”.