Tyler Childers Songs Covered on American Idol. Twice.

Tyler Childers is a Top 10 artist in all of country music right now—mainstream, independent, major label, radio play or not. He’s massive. And mark my words, when the world returns to normal, he’ll be selling out arenas by himself.

In the latest sign of the Tyler Childers permeation in culture—and specifically with the younger audiences that some may be surprised find so much appeal in his music—this week not one, but two contestants on American Idol performed Tyler Childers songs as part of the competition.

“AmEriCaN iDoL ?!? ThAt sHOw suCKs!”

Yeah yeah, whatever. That’s not the point. And it’s not even that it’s completely unheard of for an American Idol contestant to pull from the ranks of independent country artists for a song choice. A contestant named Colby Swift covered “Cast No Stones” by Cody Jinks in 2019.

What makes this situation so interesting is that you had two separate contestants sing Tyler Childers songs in the same round, and the songs they picked weren’t signature Tyler tracks like Cody’s “Cast No Stones” was. It was two of Tyler’s more obscure cuts.

A 20-year-old contestant named Cecil Ray covered Tyler’s “Shake The Frost,” which is a live cut off of Tyler’s Red Barn Radio sessions originally released in 2013. Then a 24-year-old dude named Chayce Beckham performed the excellently-written song “Hard Times” off of Tyler’s sometimes-forgotten debut album Bottles and Bibles from 2011. In other words, these weren’t some fly by hipsters singing “Whitehouse Road” because they heard it on Spotify. They dove deep into the Tyler Childers catalog, as do a lot of his biggest fans.

What sucks about both performances is they were only small snippets of the songs, and not even long enough to recognize them unless you knew what you were listening to. Also, there wasn’t any announcement of what the song was or who it was from by the artist or American Idol, so it was somewhat of a missed opportunity to promote Tyler Childers to the national audience. The Cecil Ray kid struggled with Tyler’s “Shake The Frost.” Chayce Beckham did quite well with his short moment with “Hard Times.”

Last week, Purgatory by Tyler Childers was #11 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. Songs from the album are holding steady at about 7 to 8 million streams every week just from that one title. The album dipped slightly this week to #16, but remember, the album was released now some 3 1/2 years ago.

And when you have 20-something kids performing Tyler Childers songs on American Idol, that speaks to just how popular he truly is, and still with no radio play. Don’t be surprised if further Childers songs pop up on American Idol and in other unsuspecting places soon after he signed a global publishing deal in February.

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P.S. In other Tyler Childers news, Kickin’ It On The Creek did a streaming benefit for Kentucky flood relief earlier this week with Arlo McKinley, Kelsey Waldon, The Wooks, Town Mountain, and many others participating. The event was capped off with previous video footage of Tyler Childers performing “Feathered Indians” and “I Swear to God” in concert.

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If you want to miss Luke Bryan and Bobby Bones (recommended), you can fast forward to the 2:09 mark.

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