MCA Nashville recording artist Parker McCollum had a busy year in 2021. With the release of his major label debut album Gold Chain Cowboy, a rigorous touring schedule and the launch of his first fan club, the Texas native celebrated many milestones.
On the touring front, McCollum entertained 17,000 people at the stage he graduated high school on, becoming the highest paid act to ever play there. He also sold out venues such as Dallas’ Dos Equis Pavilion, the AT&T Center in San Antonio, and the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, among others.
After touring shut down in 2020 due to the pandemic, McCollum and his band were among the masses happy to hit the road in spring of 2021. From mid-April through the end of the year, the guys played approximately 90 shows across the country, including as the opening act on Dierks Bentley‘s 22-date “Beers On Me Tour 2022.”
“Dierks is the definition of a superstar. The attention to detail, commitment, and energy that [he and his crew] put in every night on that tour is impressive,” McCollum shares with MusicRow. “Every single thing that you could think about from the beginning of the day to the end and throughout the show is thought about, taken care of, and prepared for. To have that level of commitment after you’ve been doing it for as long as he has is pretty impressive.
“Being the first-of-three on a tour, you’re [often] forgotten about. I think he realized that we weren’t like most first-of-three’s that he’s had, though. We’ve played over a thousand shows and sold out shows all across the country, so it wasn’t like it was our first time,” McCollum explains. “He really catered to that, understood that, and let us do our thing.”
On the radio front, McCollum earned his first No. 1 hit with his Platinum-certified debut single “Pretty Heart” in late 2020. He was also the most spun new artist on MusicRow‘s CountryBreakout Radio Chart throughout 2020, earning him MusicRow‘s Breakout Artist of the Year award in early 2021.
McCollum’s current radio single, “To Be Loved By You,” is nearing Top 10 at country radio. The track reached the top of the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart on Dec. 10, 2021.
“When I was a kid, I would hear about my favorite artists and albums going Platinum or Gold and it just sounded so cool,” he shares. “Now to sit in my house every day and have a Gold and Platinum record, and hopefully another one coming… It’s almost cliche to say, but sometimes I pinch myself and say, ‘Is this shit real?’”
Both “To Be Loved By You” and “Pretty Heart” are featured on McCollum’s major label debut album, Gold Chain Cowboy, which was released last summer. The record’s success comes on the heels of his major label backed Hollywood Gold EP from fall of 2020 and his previously released independent projects.
Though not new to the country music scene, McCollum found himself on a plethora of artist to watch lists in 2021 from the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard, HITS Magazine, SiriusXM, CMT, RIAA and more. He also notched his first ACM nomination for New Male Artist of the Year and made his Grand Ole Opry debut early last year.
“I knew what I wanted to do when I was really young. I knew I wanted to sing country music for a living, and I knew that I wanted to do it on the highest level. I didn’t really set much of a timeline for myself,” McCollum offers. “I knew from the very beginning, one way or another, that I was going to be doing this for the rest of my life.
“I’ve always said I want the slowest, sweetest, most wonderful ride to the top that I could possibly have. My goal was to do this for a long time, so as long as I’m still doing it when I’m 50, 60, 70 years old, I think that would be pretty cool.”
Towards the end of 2021, McCollum unveiled his Gold Chain Cowboy Club NFT in partnership with MusicFX, a digital community connecting artists to their fan bases through NFTs. Marking his first fan club and one of the first artist to have an NFT fan club, the campaign features multiple tiers of membership, including the Gold Chain Cowboy Black Card: Signature Edition which saw a first week sell-out.
“When I heard ‘fan club,’ I really perked up. Fans pay money to come see me play, they stream my music online, they buy a shirt and a hat in merch. My fans are the bomb. They are unbelievably loyal and committed, and they’ve been with me a long time,” gushes McCollum. “For $100 they can be winning all kinds of exclusive stuff and own a digital copy of something that belongs to them and to me. It seemed like a great way for my fans to be one step closer to me and what we’ve got going on.”
With his eyes locked on 2022, McCollum has high hopes. The goals at the top of his list involve new music.
“If I could put out a second full album that was way better than the one I put out six months ago by the end of this year or even the first quarter of 2023, I’d be really happy. If I can pull that off this year then that would be a miracle,” he sums.
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