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A & E

Illinois native’s life is a song

Brett Eldredge
Brett Eldredge

Brett Eldredge has done a lot of traveling since he left his Paris, Ill., home, but he hasn’t forgotten who helped him get where he is.

“Every once in a while, I get to stop back home,” Eldredge said during a recent phone interview. “My parents could see my heart was in it, they were there with me. I feel very blessed to have that and I never want to take that for granted.”

Eldredge and Chase Rice join Billy Currington’s We Are Tonight tour when it stops at the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center on March 20; doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $28.50 to $35.50 and are available at the Convocation Center box office or via Ticketmaster, 800-745-3000.

Country music fans not familiar with Eldredge’s name might be familiar with his recent No. 1 “Don’t Ya.” Hitting the top of the chart cost him a bet.

“I made a bet with my manager that when my first song went to No. 1, I would do something really crazy – so I went sky diving,” Eldredge said. “I’m not a fan of heights so it was a pretty scary experience.

“I’m in no hurry to jump out of another plane,” he said.

The 27-year-old also is not trying to hurry his career.

“It’s easy to look forward and look for that next thing,” he said. “My first time at the Grand Old Opry, Bill Anderson told me the one thing he wished was that he didn’t always rush it.

“Every day I try to appreciate where I am,” Eldredge said.

After spending two years at Elmhurst College, Eldredge finished his college education at Middle Tennessee State, while driving back and forth to Nashville.

“I was playing a show when I was supposed to be walking across the stage to get my degree,” Eldredge said. “I got my degree and it’s been a good ride ever since.”

Since then, he’s been writing his own music with a variety of people – some well known, some unknown.

“I love to write with people that challenge me, whether they are known to the world or not,” he said. “Everyone brings something different to the table.”

After opening for Taylor Swift on her Red tour, Eldredge also has opened for Keith Urban. And now, touring with Currington, he said he plays at night and writes during the day.

“That’s my life,” Eldredge said. “My life is a song.”


We Are Tonight tour

• WHO: Billy Currington with Brett Eldredge and Chase Rice

• WHEN: March 20; doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m.

• WHERE: Northern Illinois University Convocation Center, 1525 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb

• TICKETS: $28.50 to $35.50; available at the center box office, or 800-745-3000.

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