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Rhett Akins
Birth name Thomas Rhett Akins[1]
Born October 13, 1969 (1969-10-13) (age 40)
Origin Valdosta, Georgia, USA
Genres Country
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1994-present
Labels Decca Nashville, MCA Nashville, Audium/Koch, BNA
Associated acts Brooks & Dunn, Jack Ingram, Blake Shelton

Thomas Rhett Akins (born October 13, 1969, in Valdosta, Georgia) is an American country music artist. Signed to Decca Records between 1994 and 1997, he released two albums for the label (1995's A Thousand Memories and 1996's Somebody New), followed by 1998's What Livin's All About on MCA Nashville. Friday Night in Dixie was released in 2002 on Audium Entertainment, and a fifth album was recorded for BNA Records, People Like Me, was never released. Overall, Akins's albums have accounted for fourteen singles on the Billboard country singles charts, including the Number One "Don't Get Me Started" from 1996.



Rhett Akins was born on October 13, 1969 in Valdosta, Georgia.[2] By age eleven, he and his two younger brothers had formed a band. Rhett attended University of Georgia and studied business but gave up his studies after a year. He then worked for his father’s oil and gas distribution company. In 1992, after performing in the theme park show "Music Country Music" at Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Texas, Akins moved to Nashville, Tennessee, first working as a demo singer before Decca Records signed him to a recording contract. In 1989 Akins married former wife Paige, with her he has two children, daughter Kasey Lee and son Thomas Rhett.

Akins's first single was "What They're Talkin' About", a #35 on the Billboard country charts in late 1994, followed by the #36 "I Brake for Brunettes". After these first two singles came his signature song, "That Ain't My Truck". This was his breakthrough hit, peaking at #3 on the country charts in mid-1995. All three of these songs were included on his 1995 debut album A Thousand Memories, which also produced the #17 "She Said Yes". Also in 1995 and 1996, Akins toured with Reba McEntire.[2]

Akins' second album, Somebody New, produced his only Number One hit in "Don't Get Me Started", which peaked in August 1996. The other three singles from Somebody New were less successful, with "Love You Back" (the second single) becoming his last Top 40 hit at #38.

After Decca's Nashville division was merged into MCA Nashville in 1997, Akins was transferred to MCA Nashville for the release of his third album, 1998's What Livin's All About. This album was even less successful, however, with its lead-off single "More Than Everything" falling one space short of Top 40 in the U.S., although it was a #25 hit on the RPM country charts in Canada. Also in 1998, Akins charted with a cover of Eddie Rabbitt's 1980 Number One hit "Drivin' My Life Away", which Akins covered on the soundtrack to the 1998 film Black Dog.

A fourth album, Friday Night in Dixie, was released in 2002 on Koch Records. This album's only two singles, "Highway Sunrise" and "In Your Eyes", peaked at #55 and #57, respectively. Akins did not release another single until his signing with BNA Records in 2006, when he released the #57-peaking "Kiss My Country Ass". It was included on his album People Like Me, which was originally to have been released via BNA but was ultimately self-released in 2007. Down South followed in 2008.

Songwriting career

In the late 2000s and early 2010s, Akins began writing singles for other artists. Among the singles that Akins has co-written are "Put a Girl in It" by Brooks & Dunn, "Barefoot and Crazy" by Jack Ingram,[3] "Gimmie That Girl" by Joe Nichols and "All Over Me" by Josh Turner, all of which he co-wrote with Dallas Davidson.


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions
US Country US US
CAN Country
1995 A Thousand Memories 45 23 23
1996 Somebody New
  • Released: June 4, 1996
  • Label: Decca Nashville
13 102 2
1998 What Livin's All About 33 20
2002 Friday Night in Dixie
  • Released: March 26, 2002
  • Label: Audium/Koch
65 *
2007 People Like Me
2008 Down South
  • Released: July 18, 2008
  • Label: self-released
"—" denotes releases that failed to chart
* denotes unknown peak positions


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Country US CAN Country
1994 "What They're Talkin' About" 35 44 A Thousand Memories
1995 "I Brake for Brunettes" 36 28
"That Ain't My Truck" 3 7
1996 "She Said Yes" 17 20
"Don't Get Me Started" 1 8 Somebody New
"Love You Back" 38 51
1997 "Every Cowboy's Dream" 51 41
"Somebody New" 69
"More Than Everything" 41 121 25 What Livin's All About
1998 "Better Than It Used to Be" 47 62
"Drivin' My Life Away" 56 61 Black Dog (soundtrack)
2002 "Highway Sunrise" 55 * Friday Night in Dixie
2003 "In Your Love" 57 *
2006 "Kiss My Country Ass" 57 People Like Me
"If Heaven (Wasn't So Far Away)"
2008 "Down South" Down South
"Hung Up"
"—" denotes releases that failed to chart
* denotes unknown peak positions

Music videos

Year Video Director
1994 "What They're Talkin' About" Jon Small
1995 "That Ain't My Truck" Mary Newman-Said
1996 "She Said Yes"
"Love You Back" Guy Guillet
1997 "More Than Everything" Richard Murray
1998 "Better Than It Used to Be"
"Drivin' My Life Away" Charley Randazzo


  1. ^ Full name per BMI database.
  2. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Rhett Akins biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  3. ^ Erickson, Randy (2009-08-14). "For Rhett Akins, life is good". Coulee News. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 

External links

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