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.
March 24, 2021 @ 9:08 am
Luke Bryan’s face as he watches an actual well-written country song performed is priceless. Then again it could just be the same dumb blank expression he always wears.
strait county 81
March 24, 2021 @ 10:05 am
Also probably the fact the Chayce dude is much better looking than him and 20 something years younger on top of it.
March 25, 2021 @ 6:58 am
$20 says he can’t name one Childers song…
March 25, 2021 @ 11:09 am
Lmao, I was thinking the same dam thing when I saw Luke Bryans face.
March 29, 2021 @ 8:36 pm
Tyler childers music brings me home. All my uncles have passed away but they live in this mudic.
March 24, 2021 @ 9:27 am
stapleton , musgraves , jinks , childers ………there are so many listeners who appreciate the unique artistry of folks like this . the only people this is probably a shock to is radio and bigger assembly-line labels . fans of great music have always been able to find it WITHOUT the help of the aforementioned . its just gotten easier to do so . I think a solid recent tell that established artists might be waking up and ready to ”cash in ” on this interest in REAL and roots-simple was blake ( yeah ..THAT blake ) cutting the straight -up rootsy /grassy song ” I could be happy anywhere ….” . this is a hooky , simple ( some may argue TOO simple ) campfire strummer with timeless sentiment , lines that breath , and melody to the max . whether you like this kind of song or not , i think we should embrace this for what it is -COUNTRY …in sentiment and performance . people covering childer’s songs should be seen as a good sign that these ”indie” kinds of rootsy to-the-point songs and artists are indeed finding listeners who want more than FGL and their clones.
March 25, 2021 @ 4:11 am
‘…the only people this is probably a shock to is radio and bigger assembly-line labels.’
Not to pick on you particularly, but just to make a pet point of mine . . . People who think radio and major label executives are clueless about music are the same people who challenge NBA bench warmers to one-on-one games. They tend to find out they may have, um–underestimated their opponent?
They got game. Major game. They just don’t show it. They’re just along for the ride on the cash cow.
March 24, 2021 @ 9:39 am
Don’t forget that Lauren Mascitti was a contestant last year (before she released her album
March 24, 2021 @ 10:20 am
There’s a 16 year old kid named Caleb Kennedy on there that shows promise. https://youtu.be/m5O0JZ8j2mg
March 24, 2021 @ 12:08 pm
Seems like country is being saved. Although you still can’t say “put on some country” and expect it to be good yet.
March 25, 2021 @ 7:06 am
I hate telling someone I like country music and then they say something like… that “so and so” is pretty good. And I’m thinking that “so and so” would’t know a country song if it started playing right now.
March 28, 2021 @ 2:05 pm
went out with a girl recently, “oh so you like country music? Like Blake Shelton?” Choked on my beer!
March 24, 2021 @ 12:54 pm
With Childers being covered on Idol and stuff like the recent Post Malone cover of Sturgill; it looks like the start of more quality music making it’s way to younger people and the mainstream. I’m still bummed that artists like Jayke Orvis, Huber, and Biram (which is more what I like) not getting the attention they deserve but it’s nice to see some quality making it’s way to the mainstream. There are some youtubers out there promoting the Post Malone cover and there are tons of comments from what appears to be more of the pop/hip-hop crowd that are 100% on board.
March 24, 2021 @ 1:35 pm
That Post Malone/Sturgill moment left a massive footprint. Here Wednesday afternoon, and it’s still my 2nd most popular article on the site at the moment. Things like that are much bigger opportunities for artists than even playing a late night talk show or SNL, because it’s organic. My guess will see a goose in Sturgill’s numbers in the coming week.
March 24, 2021 @ 6:59 pm
I hope so…and I was thinking about what I wrote above; and what was just as cool as seeing non-country fans wanting to see more country from Post Malone, was seeing a bunch of comments from people claiming to be real country fans reaching out and welcoming Post to do more in the country genre. Everyone is always looking for that next savior of country music and here’s a non-country artist uniting what’s typically considered opposing sides. Obviously Post Malone saving country music is extremely presumptuous; I guess I’m just excited to finally see opposite sides coming together on anything.
March 24, 2021 @ 3:01 pm
Tyler Childers is a dynamo as far as singers and songwriters go but he does more than anyone in the business in helping anyone in need, especially people in disasters; to me, that’s an artist worth his weight in armor, silver, and gold.
March 25, 2021 @ 7:15 am
Shame on your for not warning us that Bones would be in this video. He’s such a jerk. Foolishly got into a twitter argument with him a couple of years back (by the way I never get in the Twitter arguments and rarely even tweet). In the Twitter topic he was obviously wrong. Instead of conceding he decided to call names. You know he probably thinks that Tyler Childers is some type of drink he had at a hipster bar.
March 25, 2021 @ 7:38 am
For the record, the video did come with a warning 😀
March 26, 2021 @ 1:59 am
I’m sorry but what… you call 20-something old people “kids”…? That’s so disrespectful and riddiculus.
March 28, 2021 @ 4:23 pm
Don’t watch the show, so wasn’t aware of this. “Shake The Frost” is one of my TC faves. Hope the boy did it justice.