Uncut with Jay Cutler: Country Star ERNEST Talks About Suffering a Heart Attack at Only 19 Years Old

by Chris Haney

For this week’s episode of Uncut with Jay Cutler, country music singer-songwriter ERNEST stopped by Outsider Studios to speak about his life and career. The Nashville native has been writing songs for some of country music’s biggest stars for years. He’s now making a name for himself as an artist as well with the recent release of his second album, FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM).

Yet with all his success, things could have turned out much differently for the singer. In fact, ERNEST is lucky to be alive and doing what he loves these days. During his conversation with host Jay Cutler, the musician opened up about suffering a heart attack at only 19 years old.

While attending Nashville’s Lipscomb Academy for high school he played on the baseball team and was coached by his dad. His dad coached the team for more than 40 years, and the father-son duo would help lead Lipscomb to a state championship in 2011. However, halfway through the season, ERNEST woke up one Sunday morning and knew something was wrong. He had a burning sensation in his chest so his parents took him to the hospital.

Doctors would end up misdiagnosing the future country star at first and sent him home. Later that same day, he still felt the burning sensation and returned to the hospital. His second trip to the hospital may have saved his life. On his return visit, doctors would diagnose the 19-year-old with myocarditis, which can lead to heart failure.

“Had a heart attack at 19 – myocarditis,” ERNEST explained to Jay Cutler. “Yea, total fluke. We were like on a great winning streak senior year. And just a random Sunday, woke up with a crazy burning sensation. Went to the hospital, they said it was probably an allergic – like I was having allergies and an asthma attack, which I never had asthma. So, they gave me a breathing treatment and sent me home. That night it came back, went back [to the hospital], they did the whole thing and were like, ‘You’re having a heart attack.'”

ERNEST Shares Health Update, Hasn’t Had Any Other Scares Since

Thankfully, the medical professionals got things right on ERNEST’s second trip to the hospital. They caught the heart inflammation in time and were able to take care of what had to be a scary situation for any teenager. Crazy enough, he made his return to the baseball field only two weeks later after getting cleared to play.

“Yea, I was out for two weeks and then came back and played against BA,” ERNEST said. “And we went on to win the state championship with my dad who had coached for 46 years at David Lipscomb. It was a storybook ending, dude.”

Following his treatments and subsequent check-ups, doctors were able to confirm that ERNEST’s heart damage had fully healed. He assured host Jay Cutler that he’s been fine ever since, which is great news for his family, friends, and all country music fans.

“No problems [since]. Other than self-inflicted injury for the next couple years,” ERNEST joked. “But it’s all been good. Yea, it’s all good. When I went back for my check-up like six weeks later they did the scan and all the damage had healed.

“That’s nuts – heart attack at 19. Maybe you got your heart attack out of the way for the rest of your life,” host Jay Cutler said to his guest.

“That’s what I think, I had mine early on. Paid my dues early,” ERNEST responded as the pair shared a laugh.

Make sure to check out Jay Cutler and ERNEST’s full conversation in the video below, or tune in and listen to Uncut with Jay Cutler on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.