Rising country music star Russell Dickerson opened up about his debut album, Yours, in an exclusive interview with Us Weekly. The 30-year-old performer, who’s being called the next big country breakout, admits that his success was not immediate, but is the product of nearly a decade of hard work and sacrifice.
“I started writing songs in ’08 and have been touring since ’09,” Dickerson told Us. “We played anywhere that would pay us $250-500 just to fill up the tank of my SUV and get some Taco Bell on the way to the next show that probably no one would be at,” he added half-jokingly. “I wouldn’t say I’m surprised by this success because this is what I’ve always dreamed of doing, but it does feel very surreal that it’s all starting to happen now!”
The country crooner, who has been married to wife Kailey for four years, explained that his love served as inspiration for his hit song, “Yours.”
“‘Yours’ was written about our relationship and that was the first song written on the album,” he said. “All of the other songs just followed suit with the vibe that ‘Yours’ set from the beginning.”
Dickerson also pointed out that Kailey has been a constant support through his career’s development. “My wife has been with me since the early SUV days. She actually shot the music video for ‘Yours.’ She shot the album cover for the Yours EP and full-length album, has driven countless miles, set up merch, taken all the meet and greet pictures and more. So yeah, that’s definitely inspiring to write a record about.”
And while some artists have a hard time selecting a favorite song off their album, when asked, the star confessed: “‘Billions.’ I feel like it is legitimately my personality in a song. Upbeat, energetic and completely over the top!”
Adding to the fun, the country newcomer, who has been on tour with Florida Georgia Line and Nelly this summer, went on to share his dream artist collaboration with Us: “I’ve honestly put a lot of thought into that one and my dream collab would be Usher. I’ve been a huge fan since 5th grade and he’s transcended generations now and is a legend!”
Taking a moment to reflect on his journey, the Tennessee native believes his authenticity as an artist has been a driving force in finding success.
“You have to care less about what people think and be unapologetically yourself all the time,” he affirmed. “That’s what will gain you the respect of others more than trying to ‘fit in.’”
Dickerson’s debut Album Yours is in stores Friday, October 13.
For the latest celebrity entertainment, news and lifestyle videos, subscribe to Us Weekly’s YouTube Page.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!