It’s not that Aaron Watson hasn’t been setting country music fans in Texas, Oklahoma, and on the rodeo circuit ablaze for many years. This Amarillo native with a wide smile and country-boy appeal infuses his popular, sincere songs about loving his wife, his state, and the Lord. You would be mistaken if you think there’s not a fierce side driving even his most sunny songs. His 2015 record, titled The Underdog, reached headlines and swept some Music Row suits when it debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Country Album sales chart. In addition, the album was the first ever release from an independent male artist to do so.

His struggles before “The Underdog”

For years, Aaron Watson had been turned away by Nashville recording executives, who all said he’d have to change his sound if he ever wanted to succeed outside Texas. The music executives told him what it would take to be a star: sign on the line, settle to the terms, and they will put the Nashville machine to work for him. Watson rejected it thinking he will not settle to achieve a success that way. As a result, Nashville wished him good luck and sent him on his way back to Texas. The radio stations refused to play him at first, but because of The Underdog, Aaron Watson has become a country music sensation.

He attained all these successes by persevering. He already played 2,500 shows. On most days, he rises at 5:00 in the morning to write. He stays hours after performances to talk to every persistent fan. In short, he works like it’s his job. When he talks about artists he admires, he often talks about their journey years. He will always say it’s about putting in the effort, appreciating steady growth, and always making fans feel like part of the family. Before every show, as the anxieties sneak in, he says a prayer. He asks that he put on a good show and that that he bring his fans joy. He says,

“God’s blessed me with the opportunity to do what I love and the platform to have a positive influence on those around me.”

His aim is to keep persisting, building, have faith, and when he meets with success, will still keep his feet on the ground. So far, so good. Let’s take these pieces of advice from his song, The Underdog:

“Don’t you forget your faith in God above
Don’t you forget your Mom and Daddy’s love
When you fear when you fail when you feel your gonna fall
Follow your heart and always believe in the underdog.”

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