Parker McCollum couldn’t believe it when Miranda Lambert video-called him up. “I’m sitting at my mom’s house at Forth Worth,” he said, somewhat shocked to see Miranda instead of a last-minute interview. Miranda wasn’t looking to ask Parker any questions. Instead, she had some good news to deliver. “I’m telling you that you’ve won New Male Artist of the Year for the [Academy of Country Music Awards] this year.” And with that, Parker’s jaw dropped.
“Are you serious? I’m like, getting blurry vision right now,” he said, in utter shock. “Are you joking? You’re dead serious? I won?” He had to take it in, thinking about how he had just taken home his first ACM Award. “Oh my goodness. There’s no way. No way,” he said. Miranda, who was proud to see a fellow Texan do good, said he was “killing it” and that she wanted to toast his success when they meet up again. “This one’s for Texas, no doubt. That is wild,” he said.
The 57th Academy of Country Music Awards airs tonight (Monday, March 7) from Las Vegas on Prime Video. Both Parker and Lainey Wilson, the winner of the New Female Artist of the year, will perform on the show. Before the ACMs kick off, here’s what you need to know about Parker.
Parker McCollum Is A Country Music Star.
Born and raised in Conroe, Texas (near Houston), Parker worked summers on a ranch in Limestone Country. He fell in love with classic country artists like Willie Nelson, Buck Owens, and Porter Wagoner, according to CMT Edge. As a teen, he learned how to play the guitar and harmonica. He relocated to Austin and began to work on his country music career.
His first EP, A Red Town View, was released in 2013. In 2015, Parker put out The Limestone Kid, his debut album. He followed it up with a handful of EPs, including 2020’s Hollywood Gold and two more albums – 2017’s Probably Wrong and 2021’s Gold Chain Cowboy.
He Is A Chart-Topping Performer.
Parker released his first single, “Highway,” in 2013 and followed it with a handful of songs. “Meet You in the Middle,” “All Day,” “Hell of a Year,” and “Misunderstood” all built him a buzz but failed to chart. In 2019, Parker finally found significant commercial success with “Pretty Heart.” The song topped the U.S. Country Airplay charts, reached No. 4 on the U.S. Country charts, and peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. His 2021 song, “To Be Loved By You,” also cracked the Top 10 on the country charts before peaking at No. 48 on the Hot 100.
He Defies Labels.
Parker’s first two albums were on the independent PYM Music label. His 2021 album, Gold Chain Cowboy, was his first for MCA Nashville. So, he was getting a second chance at a first impression.
“This was my major label full-length debut,” he told Entertainment Focus in 2021. “It wasn’t my first album, but it was my first album on a major, and I knew it was gonna be the introduction for a lot of people to me across the country and obviously farther out. And I just wanted to make sure that very early on, I made it very obvious that you can’t pigeonhole me.”
Parker wanted to show “that there’s nothing I couldn’t do as far as stylistically or as far as a genre goes or whatever someone wants to call it.” Parker’s music incorporates a lot of influences, like soul, folk, blues, and roots rock.
“I really wanted there to be kind of across the board on this record,” he said. “Still what I do and what I’ve always done, the sad, slow heartbreak country love songs that I love so much. But I just wanted to take a couple [of] chances and let people know that I can step out of the box. You can’t put me into a corner and into one category. I get to do whatever I want. That’s the beauty of music.”
Parker Loves Texas.
“Not being cliché or blowing smoke, but Texas is everything to me,” he told Holler. “Texas is where I want to grow old, it’s where I cut my teeth as a young touring musician. It’s something I’ll never take for granted. It’s incredible to have a home like that, that’s so supportive of me, my music, and chasing my dreams.”
Parker Also Has His Own Wine.
Parker McCollum has a line of wines with Christeni Vineyards. There’s the Probably Wrong Cabernet, the To Be Loved By You Sauvignon Blanc, the M rosé, and more. Parker’s stepmother has a sister who owns the winery in California, and she pitched him the idea. “My dad really got the idea in her head,” Parker told Entertainment Focus, “and he said, ‘hey you just had your first number one song, why don’t we name this new wine I have To Be Loved By You’ – which is the name of my current single – ‘why don’t we name it after that and send it to all the radio stations as a thank you for pushing my song number one.’ And I said, ‘that’s a great idea.'”
“I think we sold 10,000 bottles in three weeks off of one Instagram post,” he said. “It’s just crazy. We got four different ones out now, we can’t keep ’em in stock, we don’t have staff to stock ’em that much. It’s crazy.” Expect more wine – and number 1 songs – from this young new talent in the future.