Apple Music has announced Texas singer/songwriter Parker McCollum as the latest addition to its Up Next programme, Apple Music’s monthly artist initiative geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising talent.
Parker McCollum began building a following in his native Texas with 2015’s The Limestone Kid. The album track “Meet You in The Middle” became a hit on Texas’ regional radio chart, but it was the album’s widely-acclaimed follow-up, Probably Wrong, that helped Parker find national success. Bridging the gap between Texas’ homegrown music scene and Nashville’s country-industry headquarters, Parker’s songwriting earned him a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Nashville in May 2018 and a recording deal with Universal Music Group Nashville in June 2019. In 2020, Parker released Hollywood Gold, the highest-selling debut country EP of 2020, which includes debut No.1 hit single “Pretty Heart,” and was certified Platinum, as well as playlisted across Apple Music top tier playlists, Today’s Country, and Don’t Mess With Texas. Parker followed with his 2021 major label debut, Gold Chain Cowboy, which was the top Country album in 17 countries on Apple Music, including the US, since its release. Earlier this summer, Parker played his first sold-out show at the Dallas, TX Dos Equis Pavilion to a crowd of 20K fans and this fall he played the famed Woodlands (The Cynthia Wood Mitchell Pavilion) in Woodlands, TX, to a sold out crowd which broke attendance records for the venue.
“All I ever wanted was a real shot in country music. To be an Apple Music Up Next artist is an incredible honour and it means so much to me to have a platform like Apple believe in me,” says Parker McCollum. “I always try to keep my head down and earn every little thing so to have this spotlight for a little while is nice. I do not take it for granted. Now back to work. Mad love.”
“Gritty, believable, and absolutely made for the spotlight,“said Apple Music Country host Kelleigh Bannen. “Parker McCollum is one of those rare artists who has been able to translate serious regional fame into mainstream success without compromising his core artistic identity.”
In his Up Next film out today, Parker McCollum shares his journey working on a Texas ranch for his granddad, who got him into artists like George Strait, picking up a guitar because of his older brother, and telling his dad he was going to sign a major record deal one day. Parker tells Apple Music, “I wanted to do it the hard way. I really wanted to earn it. I didn’t want anybody to be able to say anybody bought me anything,” and talks about how he put a band together, recorded music, and toured on his own before getting an offer from every major label in town. He also talks about the rise of his song ‘Pretty Heart,’ the world shutting down two weeks after the song went to radio, and how the pandemic helped him lead a healthier lifestyle.
Additional Up Next campaign moments include a Jimmy Kimmel Live! performance on November 23rd, and a sit down interview with Apple Music Country’s Kelleigh Bannen, where he discusses his Gold Chain Cowboy album, being inspired by Pat Green, playing the Ryman, and the one song that defines him.
Watch the Apple Music Parker McCollum Up Next film HERE
Check out his Apple Music Country interview with Kelleigh Bannen HERE