As a fellow songwriter in the industry, Akins has gotten his taste of fame from countless No. 1 hits and the fun times playing with his buddies as a member of The Peach Pickers. But when his son decided to follow in his footsteps, never in Akins’ wildest dreams did he think Rhett would achieve the accomplishments he’s garnered so quickly. And while he admits he’s proud of his son’s accomplishments within the music industry, he says he’s most proud of the man he’s become.
“Everybody says you gotta be so proud, you gotta be this. But honestly, I say this with all sincerity, I’m more proud that everybody thinks that he’s such a good person and the love that he and Lauren have. I’m more proud of the way he’s grown up and become a man, even though I can’t look at him without thinking he’s 16. I don’t see him as a star ever,” the Georgia native explained to Sounds Like Nashville and other media outlets recently. “I mean, I just still see him as the kid that ran into the mailbox. So it’s really hard to look at him on stage. I look more at the crowd than I did him. I’m just turning and looking going, ‘Those people waving there are standing up and screaming for my kid.’ It’s really, really weird.”
Remaining a proud papa at heart, Akins sits in disbelief half of the time when he goes to Rhett’s latest headlining shows and sees his own child’s name up in lights. Akins hopes Rhett only grows more and more in popularity within the country scene, but he will never forget about the little boy he raised for all those years.
“It’s just really weird because I’ve been going to concerts since I was 12 and this is the first time in my life I’ve gone to one and my son’s name is the one on the ticket or the one on the banner,” Akins explained. “I’m thinking when I go to a big place like that, I think Rolling Stones. I think Bon Jovi, Luke Bryan, whoever. It’s just really weird to walk in there and everybody in there came to see him. They spent $50-plus, plus he did the most merch he’s ever done this weekend on the road. Like I said, I don’t see him as a superstar. I see him as an 8-year-old and a 12-year old. I see him crying in the dugout because he struck out. It’s just really weird to see him in this position to where he’s not far away, if he keeps going, from being Luke or Jason [Aldean] or Eric Church or any of those guys.”
Currently, Thomas Rhett is out on the road for his headlining Home Team Tour and Akins occasionally makes an appearance along the way.