Some superstar singers like to live the way they perform – loud, proud, and for all the world to see. Their lives are an open book and their parties have an open-door policy. When they’re not recording or touring, you can find them wherever the action is.
Billy Currington is not one of those singers.
Currington, an Effingham County native with eight No. 1 country hits under his belt and a new album being released June 2, somehow manages to straddle the line between being intensely private and showcasing the Southern hospitality and charm that has surely helped to make him so popular with fans around the world.
When he isn’t recording in Nashville or out on the road, you can find him on Tybee Island, relishing in his roots and digging in his garden.
“I’ve been to so many places in my life, but nothing feels like home except here,” says Currington at his Tybee Island treasure, a house he bought in 2010 and visits whenever he can. “It’s pretty marvelous.”
Currington was raised in Rincon and spent summers on Tybee. His grandfather was teaching him to fish by the time he was 3, and both grandparents cultivated in young Billy a deep love and appreciation for gardening that persists today. His extensive garden includes everything Currington’s family used to grow when he was a kid – “(Vidalias) are the best onions,” says the proud Georgia boy. “I used to go to the Vidalia Onion Festival every year!” – along with more recent add-ons like carrots, celery, mint and basil.
The singer understands the quiet persistence needed to succeed, whether that success comes in the form of a bumper crop of Silver Queen corn, or a record deal, Grammy nomination, and Country Music Award. The boy from Rincon with a soul for country made his way to Nashville after high school, hell bent on carving a name for himself in the music business. But stardom doesn’t often come easy, and Currington paid his dues working construction and as a personal trainer until the right people had heard his demos and started to take notice. He signed with Mercury Records in 2003, releasing his self-titled debut album that year, and his first single, “Walk a Little Straighter,” peaked at No. 8. The second single, “I Got a Feelin’,” became his first Top 5, and finally, suddenly, little Billy from the beach was a bonafide hit.