With songs that are both upbeat and perfectly moving – enough to spin your emotional spectrum – you can tell that Cole Swindell has been doing well in making a name for himself in country music. Over the years, the Georgia native has been touring with acts like Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, penned several hit songs, and released nine singles – seven of which have charted within the Top 5.
And Swindell keeps showing fans that he has plenty to offer. So, to celebrate such an artist, we have rounded up some things you might not know about him yet.
Cole Swindell’s Early Life
Cole Swindell was born on June 30, 1983, to parents William Keith Swindell and Betty Carol Rainey. He grew up in the small town of Glenview, Georgia – along with his two brothers.
Swindell graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2007 with a degree in marketing – where he became friends with Luke Bryan.
Career Beginnings and Rise to Fame
Cole Swindell started pursuing music while he was a college student. After leaving college in 2007, the Georgia native moved to Nashville to try his talent with the help of his fellow Georgia Southern alumnus Luke Bryan.
Bryan graduated way before Swindell entered the university, but the two met when the country superstar came back for visits and remained in touch. And since Bryan had a position open for a merchandise salesman in Nashville, the then 24-year-old college senior Swindell – with a marketing degree – took the job. For the next three years, the now-superstar singer sold T-shirts for Bryan and often toured as part of Bryan’s team.
Eventually, Swindell started turning his attention to songwriting – laying together the bits and pieces of a possible career. He showcased his unique talent of phrasing and writing lyrics that would soon become country radio favorites.
His first cut was Scotty McCreery‘s “Water Tower Town,” which was immediately followed by Craig Campbell‘s “Outta My Head,” Thomas Rhett‘s “Get Me Some of That” and several songs of Luke Bryan – including “Just a Sip,” “Beer in the Headlights,” “Roller Coaster,” and “Out Like That.”
In 2012, with Music Row’s encouragement and support, Swindell finally debuted his songs at BMI’s Key West Songwriters Festival. It was the first time Swindell performed in public, singing songs he had written.
BMI’S Associate Vice President Clay Bradley remembered Swindell killing it that day and showing off his undeniable X factor.
Since then, Swindell gained a foothold as a singer-songwriter and was making cautious steps toward a performing career. And in 2013, he released “Chillin’ It” independently, which did well enough to catch Warner Music Nashville’s attention.
Swindell’s self-titled debut album immediately came to life – thanks to Warner Music Nashville, who also re-released “Chillin’ It” to country radio. The single climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and even crossed over to No. 28 on the pop Top 40. Indeed, “Chillin’ It” propelled Swindell into the mainstream.
He spent almost a year on tour to promote his debut album – which also consists of other No. 1 hits: “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” and “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey.”
Swindell released two more albums and produced a couple of No. 1 hits since then.
Since hitting the country music scene, Swindell has kept his love life private and always walked the red carpets solo – but not until he and professional wrestler Barbie Blank confirmed their relationship in 2019. Both were seen attending the 2019 ACM Awards together in Las Vegas, where the two walked the red carpet and posed for photos.
However, they called it quits a few months later.
In 2013, Swindell’s family was struck by an unexpected tragedy when the family’s patriarch suddenly died when a truck he was working on accidentally fell on him. It was at this time that Swindell started to be successful with his music career – it was exactly six weeks after he called him to tell him he had signed a record deal with Warner Music Nashville. The family’s happy moment was recorded on tape by one of Swindell’s friends.
Two years after his father’s death, Swindell released the song “You Should Be Here” – where he expressed how he longed for his father to be still alive today to share his musical achievements. The song’s music video began with an old video of Swindell sharing the good news to his father and ended with the singer and his brothers crying at their father’s gravestone. He revealed that it was one of the most challenging videos he ever made.
Awards and Accolades
Cole Swindell earned several nominations throughout his career – including Best Country Song during the 2019 Grammy Awards – but he came victorious in 2015 when he was crowned New Artist of the Year during the 50th Annual ACM Awards in Arlington, Texas.
He was all smiles as he hurried onto the stage to receive the award. “This is an unbelievable awards show, and I can’t believe I’m getting to be part of it,” Swindell said before thanking his producer, record label, and fans.
Swindell competed for the award against then-newcomers Thomas Rhett and Sam Hunt.
Fun Facts About Cole Swindell
- His real name is actually not Cole. Named after his grandfather, Swindell was born as Colden Rainey – yes, like a weather forecast for a cold and rainy day. The singer revealed that he had been teased as a kid, but he never minded that because of the significance his name stands.
- He played several sports when he was in high school in Terrell Academy – this includes football, baseball, basketball, golf, and even ran track, too. Swindell revisited his high school days in the music video of “The Ones Who Got Me Here,” where the singer can be seen visiting the football field where he used to play. But, ironically, the one thing he didn’t do in high school was play music.
- He can draw too! In fact, he drew a portrait of his friend Luke Bryan back in 2007. Bet you’re now wondering if there’s anything Swindell can’t do.
- Alan Jackson’s A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ’bout Love) is the first album Swindell ever bought. The singer said he could no longer remember how old he was at that time, but he knew he was “young enough to be driving my mama crazy by putting ‘Chattahoochee’ on repeat.”
- In 2017, he added pageant judge to his list of credits after he was chosen to be one of the judges for the 2017 Miss America – and the new role suddenly made him very popular. He revealed that he had gotten more texts about it than any of his other achievements.
- You might be surprised to know what food Swindell reaches for whenever he has a craving. It’s actually beer, fat-free popcorn, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. In fact, the country singer enjoys fat-free popcorn every time he’s on the road, and he admits that he sometimes mixes it with M&Ms.
- Being athletic that he is, Swindell roots for the Atlanta Braves in baseball and the Atlanta Falcons in football ever since he was a kid.
- He’s also very supportive of our troops. In 2016, during the 75th anniversary of the USO, the country singer did something very momentous for the organization that’s been serving several men and women in the U.S. military. For some time, fans can gift a copy of Swindell’s album, “You Should Be Here,” to any active-duty service member. For each copy given through Swindell’s official store, he will make a contribution of $1 to the USO.
- For the music video of his 2014 hit “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey,” Swindell was actually drinking tea rather than whiskey. This is for him to be able to perform and make sure he’s being his best self. The country singer joked that he had drunk more tea than he ever did in his whole life.
- Because of his parents’ divorce while he was young, Swindell is pretty cautious in choosing who he dates – “to make sure it’s right when it’s right.” After all, the country singer doesn’t want to put anyone through the things he’s been through. However, Swindell concedes that he absolutely wants to settle down someday.
- It was actually Luke Bryan who inspired Swindell to pursue music when he saw him perform a song called “Small Town Favorite Son” during a frat party. Swindell and Bryan were both members of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
- Swindell has created his own line of liquor through a partnership with Sugarlands Distilling Company. In addition to his face and name on the moonshine bottle, Swindell actually got involved in every aspect of it – from start to finish.
- He’s a big fan of The Bachelorette. He revealed that he watches the show as much as he can.
- He once revealed that he knows all the verses to Rihanna’s 2016 hit “Work,” jokingly saying that it’s the most inappropriate song he has memorized.
- Cole Swindell’s net worth is estimated to be around $5 million.
- Though Swindell now resides in Nashville, it’s still quite very easy to tell that he’s proud to be from Georgia. You’ll often see him sporting a baseball hat from his alma mater, and the lyrics of Cole Swindell songs are often a reflection of his small-town upbringing.
What The Future Holds For Him
The country singer revealed that a new album is on the way – this includes a couple of songs he has written during quarantine.
And since he’s been bound to songwriting sessions done virtually, Swindell said that he now focused more on working with people he has already collaborated with in the past. He added that the experience of being in quarantine and watching the pandemic unfold would surely influence his upcoming project in a big way.
However, the country singer isn’t sure when exactly his new album might arrive.
Meanwhile, his latest song “Single Saturday Night” – which would be the lead single of his upcoming studio album – had also climbed the charts when it was released in May 2020, peaking at No. 19 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs.
Where You Can Find His Music Online Or In Stores Near You
Cole Swindell tour dates have been rescheduled due to coronavirus concerns, but it was announced that it’s set to kick off this June 2021. Cole Swindell meet and greet is also now up – making it possible to spend time with the singer and get to know him a little bit more than before.
Cole Swindell has definitely come a long way – watching hit after hit land at the top of the charts. The country singer is beyond thankful for the chance and is now savoring the ride.