Brad Paisley Opens Up About the Pandemic’s Effects on Newer Artists’ Careers

by Jacklyn Krol

Brad Paisley reminded fans just how hard being a new artist is amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brad Paisley ‘Really Felt’ For Newer Artists Who Lost Opportunities to ‘Establish Themselves’

The “Remind Me” singer spoke during a panel at Country Radio Seminar on Thursday (February 18). The CRS seminar was exclusive to radio executives and media. During the conversation, he thanked Bud Light for helping sponsor live stream concerts of his. Doing so, he was able to pay his band and crew’s paychecks, something that artists have been struggling to do.

Brad Paisley shared that he and Tim McGraw had a conversation about newer artists coming up amid quarantine. The conversation made him try to step into a new artist’s shoes, without being able to perform a concert or visit radio stations. He also knows that bigger artists have a responsibility of sorts to entertain virtually. “People want some comfort food right now,” he began. “Guys like Tim and I who have been around a while and Carrie [Underwood]… we had an obligation to do something.”

“I really felt for the newer artists that were on their first or second single. They didn’t have the opportunity we had to play a big concert and have a lot of people watched,” he explained. “Cause they are still trying to establish themselves. So I did feel the obligation to do these things [host virtual and drive-in events.]” Up and coming artists during the seminar mentioned that they had not been to radio stations and some have never even played a proper concert.

At the end of the day, Paisley is humbled by his ability to be that comfort food for so many fans. He also knows not to take it for granted. “I felt like I’ve been given a lot,” he added. “It’s like to whom much is given, much is required. I needed to entertain people from home if I could because they were stuck in their houses.”

Connecting With Fans

During the same conversation, Brad Paisley spoke about connecting with his fans virtually. He has popped in on roughly 100 Zoom meetings held by fans to surprise them for special events or just a drink. He even drank with a group of priests, something he said was unusual and unforgettable. Overall, it was a great conversation. Some encounters are with excited fans while others want to just get to know him over a cold one.

His first fan surprise was to a group of nurses who worked at various hospitals. They texted Paisley’s fan phone and asked if he wanted to get a virtual drink with them after their shifts ended. The nurses never thought he would actually show up. They were extremely surprised and “went nuts,” according to him.

Another special moment was when Brad Paisley watched a fan ring the bell in honor of her last chemo treatment. She became cancer-free and asked the country star to be there, and he delivered. He admitted that that moment is one of the stories that stood out to him most.