He’s been called ‘the most powerful man in country music.’ Bobby Bones, a beloved radio personality, will compete for the ‘DWTS’ crown, so get all the details about this dancing DJ.
Bobby Bones, 36, knows a thing or two about music. The host of iHeart’s marque morning program, The Bobby Bones Show, is syndicated in nearly 100 stations coast to coast, and he also hosts Country Top 30 with Bobby Bones. So, expect a lot of boot-scootin’ with his cha-chas when he and Sharna Burgess, 33, team up for season 27 of Dancing With The Stars. Bobby – along with celebrities like Nikki Glaser, 34, Tinashe, 25, and more – will compete for the mirror ball trophy, so get all the details about him before the Sept. 24 premiere.
1. Bobby Bones isn’t his real name. Shocker, right? He was born Bobby Estell in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and grew up in poverty, as his parents were only teenagers when they had him. As a boy, he earned the moniker that would become known across the country. “Well, there’s a story when I was a young, eighth-grader and I was wrestling, and my shorts…tore,” he told Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb in 2016, while promoting his book, Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book. “The nickname ‘T-Bone’ happened…so, with that…” It seemed that after “T-Bone,” it was just natural to start calling him Bobby Bones.
2. He won over Nashville by trolling himself. In 2013, iHeartMedia made Bones, a popular Top 40 DJ in Austin, the host of Nashville’s flagship radio program, according to the Washington Post. He replaced a beloved DJ – Gerry House – but as a man who’s more Ryan Seacrest than Grand Ole Opry, he rubbed the “old guard” the wrong way. A year into his run, he was struggling to find an audience. So, he spent $13,000 of his own money on billboards across town that read, “Go Away Bobby Bones.” People responded with sympathy, shocked that someone could be so cruel. It helped Bobby’s listenership, as it grew from 2 to 3 million listeners.
3. He’s also a rock star. Bobby fronts a comedy band called The Raging Idiots. “I’m a decent writer, barely a decent guitar player and a terrible singer,” he said, per Forbes. He often recruits famous friends — Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, to name a few — to join him on stage.
4. He’s heavily involved in charitable works. The Raging Idiots were something fun for Bobby and one of his on-air sidekicks, Eddie Garcia, to do, and they turned their show into a charity gig…which led to another charity gig. “Before we knew it, we got close to a million raised for charity, just touring around playing in restaurants,” he said. Since growing up in extreme poverty as a boy, Bobby has worked hard to raise millions for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, including raising $1.3 million in a single day as part of the St. Jude Radiothon.
5. He attempted to prank Donald Trump for $250k. “I’m really not a dick, but sometimes you get that reputation,” he told Rolling Stone, and his pranks have earned him that reputation. iHeartMedia was fined $1 million over a 2014 incident in which The Bobby Bones Show broadcasted fake emergency alerts during its program. Other pranks have landed him and his entourage in jail or on misdemeanor charges. One prank may have cost Donald Trump, 72, a quarter of a million dollars.
In 2015, Bobby saw that then-candidate Trump failed to trademark “Make America Great Again” for t-shirts and hats. So, Bones swooped in and filed it. He told Donald that he could have the trademark if he made a $250,000 donate to St. Jude. Donald eventually cut a check, but forbade Bobby from disclosing the amount. So, had Bobby demanded more money or held onto the trademark, we wouldn’t have those red MAGA hats.