Today I’m sitting down with Grayson Hutchinson, the male character from my next book, Through The Pain. Grayson was nice enough to take some time out of his busy work schedule to chat with me today.
Me: Grayson, tell us a little about yourself.
Grayson: I am very blessed to have the career I have in country music. I have had ten number one hits, my sophomore album just went platinum and we have been on a whirlwind tour that has been selling out like gang busters. I never dreamed any of this could happen to me. I come from a small town in Illinois and as cliched as it sounds, singing country music is all I have ever wanted to do. I started singing at a young age with my family and we would play fairs and carnivals all across the state. As the years went by, we all went our separate ways in our careers yet music always stuck with me. My coworkers at my old jobs would hear me singing all the time and come out and see me. A lot of them still do when we play a show in the state.
Me: Although you have had much success, you have also experienced much loss. How has that shaped you as an artist?
Grayson (Tearing up): I um…I lost my wife a year ago. She died in a plane crash. I still can’t believe she’s gone. (Wipes eyes) It was the worst thing I had ever been through. My first divorce couldn’t even top it and that was like going through hell. But nothing like this. I was absolutely devastated at first but I held onto my faith like I always have and trusted that the Lord had His hand on the situation. I had an amazing support system in my family, my friends, my employees and the other artists in the country music community. I couldn’t have gotten through it without them. My fans were amazing also. I have the best fans in the world. All the letters and tweets and posts on my social media channels meant more to me than they will ever know. I took some time off which I really needed and eventually started writing again. It was very cathartic for me to get all the words and emotions out. I think that is why the next record is going to be so different. However, I didn’t want to write all sad things either so this album will definitely be bittersweet.
Me: You mentioned your fellow artists in country music stood by you and supported you. How so?
They were amazing. A lot of them called to make sure I was doing okay. Kent Jackson flew me home on his private jet the night I found out what happened. It was right after a show and I was a hot mess. I was so worried about my band not having work during my hiatus but everyone stepped up and helped find them jobs. Some of my guys toured in other artist’s bands, some worked in recording studios for awhile, others helped out with stage setup and behind the scenes on tours. My personal assistant went out on the road with Kent for about six months. The only people we had to let go were my personal wardrobe assistant and my personal chef. That was very hard for me. I felt like I had let them down because they had been with me for so long. They were so gracious though and both soon found work with other artists outside of the country music scene so that made me happy.
Me: You have had a long road back to the spotlight due to various other setbacks along the way. How did you handle those after all you’ve been through?
I just had to remember that although it felt like the hell I was going through would never end, God had His hand in all of it. I learned a lot about love, friendship, grace and forgiveness. I learned how much strength I really had. I also had to remember that life would keep on “driving” through the pain and that all of this would pass eventually.
Do you want to know more about Grayson and his life in the spotlight?
Keep your eye out for Through The Pain. Coming in 2017.