Corey Kent‘s got a lot to be thankful for.

The 29-year-old country artist has been making a name for himself since his appearance on The Voice in season 8 thanks to his captivating stage presence, humble personality and catchy, No. 1 hit songs.

The undeniably biggest breakthrough moment in his career so far was when he connected with songwriters Morgan Wallen, Brett Tyler, and Kelly Archer, along with producer Chris Farren to record a song titled “Wild As Her,” as it made the Bixby, Oklahoma native go from being an ordinary contractor in Dallas, Texas to chart-topping country crooner that has since inked a record deal with RCA Nashville/ Sony Music Nashville, made his Grand Ole Opry debut, earned a CMT Music Awards nomination in 2023 and embarked on a headlining tour, which brought at-capacity crowds in intimate venues across the nation.

“It’s a big team effort, and I am very very grateful,” Kent told Celeb Secrets host Juliet Schroder on the aqua carpet at the 2023 CMT Music Awards last year. “This is the last place that I thought I would be. At that season of life and coming out of the world being shut down for a little bit. I got a wife and three kids. I had to do what I had to do in that season of life. I didn’t know if music was ever going to come back around for me. So, to be here right now. I’m the most grateful guy on this carpet…I promise you that.”

Back Row (L-R): BMI’s Clay Bradley, BMI’s Mason Hunter, BMI’s MaryAnn Keen; Front Row: Brett Tyler (BMI), Kelly Archer (BMI), Corey Kent (BMI), Producer Chris Farren. Credit Steve Lowry for BMI.

Released back in 2022, “Wild As Her” is still making an impact on Country Radio and streaming charts, as the song has been certified platinum by the RIAA and has hundreds of millions of spins to date. And to recognize the smash hit going No. 1, BMI brought Music City together in the lobby of their Nashville office last Tuesday (February 20th) to celebrate the Sony Music Nashville artist’s first chart topper on Country radio with BMI affiliate writers Wallen, Archer, and Tyler.

“I’d had so many rollercoaster up and down moments at this point in my life when I started recording ‘Wild As Her.’ I was working at a pavement company in Dallas, Texas, so to me this is the ultimate underdog story of an independent single going gold, then getting a record deal, then going to radio, then topping the charts. It just shows the true power of that song,” Kent tells Celeb Secrets Country in a media session prior to the No. 1 celebration.

Reflecting on his success, the 29-year-old continues by giving his younger self the best advice anyone could ever give him; never give up on your dreams and set your ego aside by cutting great songs regardless of who wrote them.

“I’m a living testimony of cutting great songs regardless of who wrote them. I love writing songs, but I also can set my ego aside enough to realize a great song that I didn’t write. And if it fits and I think my fans will like it to, that would be the advice [to my younger self]. Step up and cut the song best song wins regardless of who wrote it,” he shares.

“You can’t fail until you give up. I walked in this building 13 years and one month ago as a 16-year-old kid and signed up as a BMI writer. I had been dropped, I had moved to Texas and I worked for a pavement company. Now, we’re here today and celebrating a number one song, and the only way that happens is because of perseverance. You keep your head down and keep working if you believe in it,” he adds.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – APRIL 02: Corey Kent attends the 2023 CMT Music Awards at Moody Center on April 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for CMT)

Continuing to follow his true passion, Kent has been hard at work in the recording studio making his label-distributed sophomore album that’s expected to drop later this year. Focusing on “creating new” and “not recreating,” the country crooner tells reporters that he is just making sure that the art stays fun and translates into a good live show.

“A lot of sophomore albums to go die because [artists] try to recreate the success they’ve had on their freshman album. For me, I’m just making sure my art stays fun and that everything I do feels new and fresh. I filter everything through how it would feel playing it live, because at the end of the day, I’m a live artist and that’s how I grew up,” Corey explains. “I grew up playing Western swing music from age 11 on, so it’s always been about the energy of a live show to me. And that’s why a song like ‘Wild As Her,’ a song like ‘This Heart’ and even a song like ‘Something’s Gonna Kill Me’ — those resonate with me because I know that we can deliver them in a way live that will get people moving and wanting to come back.”

 

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As for how the process has been for him, Corey shares with Celeb Secrets that he’s learned to stay humble and keep both work and personal separate, as he wants to not only be successful in his career, but also a loving father and husband.

“I’ve learned a lot of things [while making this music]. When we put ‘Wild As Her’ out, we didn’t have a label. I didn’t know anything about having a label and I didn’t know anything about Country Radio… I thought I did, but I relearned what I thought I knew,” he shares. “I think for me, this year and since my first record came out, I think it’s just really been about learning more of myself as a person, not necessarily as an artist, because I think you start to have success and people start to treat you a little bit differently. And then you have to go look in the mirror and go like, okay, is this thing who I am? Or do I know who I am outside of this thing? Because at least in my opinion, you get too caught up in like, ‘I am the music,’ and then it seems like a recipe for a identity crisis at some point if it’s not working.”

“For me, this year has really been growing as a man, as a husband, as a father. And again, music has this weird way going from a hobby to a career, and sometimes the fun can leave; so I ask myself how do I find ways to make sure that it’s fresh and that it remains about the art, not about the quote unquote success and creating music that I’m gonna be proud of in 20 years regardless of what sort of accolades it racks up,” he concludes.

To keep up with Corey Kent, make sure to follow him on Instagram at @coreykent and visit his website at coreykentofficial.com.

LISTEN TO “WILD AS HER” BELOW:

Author

  • Juliet Schroder

    Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends. Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.