Herd Media
Archive,  Pony Express

“Legends of Lipscomb”: Podcast Series

In this 3 episode podcast series, I dive into the lives of Lipscomb Alumni who have hit it big in the country music industry. Looking into the lives of Ernest Keith Smith, Kelsea Ballerini, and Thomas Rhett, I showcase the similarities and differences between each artist. Each one has a unique story, but they also all have a few things in common: they had a life before fame, a life in fame, and a life at Lipscomb.

In this first episode, I focus on the remarkable journey of Ernest Keith Smith, known as ERNEST in the country music world. Raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Ernest’s roots run deep within the Lipscomb community, where he excelled as a promising baseball player at the Academy. However, life took an unexpected turn when a heart attack at 19 altered his path, leading him through battles with drug addiction. Rising from these challenges, ERNEST discovered his passion for songwriting, eventually leaving Lipscomb University to pursue a music career. Writing with artists like Florida Georgia Line and Chris Lane, he signed with Big Loud and found critical success with hits like “Flower Shops,” featuring Morgan Wallen. Through ERNEST’s story, we explore how Lipscomb played a pivotal role in shaping him as a person and an artist

In the second episode, I shine a spotlight on the talented Kelsea Ballerini. Born in Mascot, Tennessee, Kelsea’s love for music was evident from a young age, drawing inspiration from icons like Shania Twain and Dolly Parton. Despite witnessing a traumatic event during her high school years, Kelsea’s passion for music never wavered. She attended Lipscomb University, where she studied Communications and marketing, immersing herself in Nashville’s music scene. Dropping out after two years to pursue music full-time, Kelsea signed with Black River Entertainment and released her debut single “Love Me Like You Mean It,” pushing her into becoming a country music star. I explore the pivotal role Lipscomb University played in shaping Kelsea Ballerini’s journey to becoming a country sensation.

In this final episode, I explore the journey of one of country music’s beloved stars, Thomas Rhett. Born into a family rooted in country music, Thomas Rhett grew up with an appreciation for the industry thanks to his father, Rhett Akins. He always knew he enjoyed working with music, but never knew that it would become his job. At Lipscomb University, His time at Lipscomb University played a crucial role in shaping his identity as an artist, even though he was majoring in Communications. Despite setbacks, including early rejections and dropping out of college to pursue music full-time, his perseverance paid off with hits like “Die a Happy Man” and “Marry Me,” captivating audiences worldwide. Beyond his musical success, Rhett’s family is his largest accomplishment in life with his wife Lauren, adopted daughter Willa Gray, and biological children Ada James, Lennon Love, and Lillie Carolina.