Before they are headliners, touring artists pay their dues as opening acts.
Fox recently asked several country stars who they learned from and who they credit with giving them their big break.
“I had an opportunity to go on tour with Brooks & Dunn, and so, it ruined everything for me after that because I was with a first-class organization right out of the gate,” Trace Adkins said.
“I just got off tour with Martina McBride, and she is so inspiring in so many ways. She’s Martina McBride. She’s one of my favorites of all time, and she’s just nice, really nice and a really good human being,” Lauren Alaina said.
“Working with Phil Vassar, and I was actually a crew guy, and I got to see – he was just really great to his band, great to his crew, to me and super nice to the opening act. Even Taylor Swift, when she was opening for Phil, and she even mentioned that’s how she was going to treat people from there on out,” T.J. Osborne said.
“Being Luke Bryan’s piano player, I learned a great deal on how to entertain, how to treat your audience and how to treat your fans,” Craig Campbell said.
“I would say Blake, you know. I’ve known Blake since I was 17 and to see just him go and go to such a great amount of success and to stay that sweet, nice person, it’s just amazing,” RaeLynn said.
A couple of Dierks Bentley’s tourmates thanked him.
“Dierks was amazing. He spent time talking to me, he spent time encouraging me, he’d bring myself and Randy out for a song during his set,” Alaina said.
“We went on tour with Dierks a few times, and I think our music did really well together, and he’s been a really good friend to us,” Mike Eli said.
The Eli Young Band also opened for the Dave Matthews Band, who would watch them take the stage.
“Dave Matthews introduced us. He talked to us before every show, he introduced us to the audience, ‘My friends, the Eli Young Band’ and then sat there side-stage and watched the whole set. Incredible. I’ve never seen that, that kind of dedication,” Jon Jones said. “So, we try to pass that along as much as we can.”