Everyone has a story, and J.D. Shelburne has a unique one…from the tobacco farms and ball fields of Taylorsville, KY, a tiny town east of Louisville, to the bright lights of Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, JD has become a rising star through hard work and faith, two life lessons taught well by his parents and beloved grandparents.
Growing up, J.D. Shelburne spent his summers on the family farm, raising tobacco and following in his father’s footsteps, excelling in multiple sports during the school year. Born to be a star, he was just that in his small town on and off the field/ court, where his father was assistant principal/athletic director and his mother a homemaker/special education teacher. Music had not yet made its way into JD’s heart at this point. After high school graduation, Shelburne departed the tiny town of Taylorsville to attend the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. The journey started there. In the summer between his freshman and sophomore year, his grandmother Clara passed away, unexpectedly. Traumatic as it was, it turned out to be a major turning point in JD’s life. In the days after her death, the family gathered to take care of her belongings. After spending countless hours cleaning out her house, they stumbled upon an acoustic guitar that once belonged to JD’s uncle. “I never saw that guitar and I swear, my brother and I trampled all over that house growing up,” remembers JD.
Remembering his grandmother, JD says, “ She touched so many people in this small town…I have so many wonderful memories that she was a part of that I will cherish and never forget.” ”I think the whole county shut down for her funeral…she was loved by everyone in Taylorsville.” It was later that summer that he dusted off the guitar and tuned it up enough to sound like one. “One day, it just hit me and I picked it up…a chord book just happened to be in the case and I came across the first song, Unanswered Prayers, by Garth Brooks…I just thought, ‘This is what she wanted me to do’…so here I am, what an unanswered prayer it was.” Music lived in JD from that point on. Over the next year, he spent every free moment learning to play and perform. Friday night college parties turned into solitary Friday nights in his empty hometown Baptist church sanctuary where his dad was a deacon and had the keys to the church. Those nights singing and playing in the empty church, dreaming of a career in country music sparked his interest. After that one year of dedication, JD sang publicly for the first time in that same Baptist Church. Not being known as a singer, much less a guitar player, it shocked everyone! “Everyone in the congregation was crying…I’ll never forget it.” That moment gave JD the confidence to continue his journey to stardom during his college years. After graduating from UK in 2007 and some gentle nudging by his parents, he packed his bags and moved to Nashville, Tennessee in February of 2008.
His road to stardom has been blessed since the move. JD has had enough recognition to land him in Country Weekly Magazine and most recently Kentucky Monthly Magazine, Music Entertainment Magazine numerous television/ radio appearances all across the nation, feature on TNN Top 10 Countdown Nationwide for numerous weeks, 2 Grand Ole Opry guest appearances with Opry Member/ friend Steve Wariner, a USO Troop Tour to Camp Shelby, countless gigs that include KFC Yum Center!, Old Cardinal Stadium, Rupp Arena, The Wildhorse Saloon, Murphy Center Arena, 6 consecutive CMA Music Festival Appearances, Countless Fourth Street Live! appearances, The Bluebird Café, Churchill Downs – Home of the Kentucky Derby and Louisville Slugger Field to name a few. Shelburne has played as many as 1000 clubs in his career since his breakthrough in 2002. JD Shelburne was also invited to be a part of the first ever HullabaLOU Music Festival at Churchill Downs with Bon Jovi/Loretta Lynn/Kenny Chesney and many other national artists in July of 2010. JD Shelburne has also been highlighted at numerous award winning fairs and festivals all across the region including the Kentucky Derby Festival, Kentucky State Fair the last 5 years and the Tennessee State Fair recently. Shelburne recently made his Stadium debut at the 2013 Kentucky State Fair opening for Montgomery Gentry at Old Cardinal Stadium to a record crowd of 16,000 fans!
JD Shelburne has also shared the stage with many national country acts since his debut. He has opened over 40 National Acts ranging from Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler to Clay Walker and Miranda Lambert and many other stars.
Shelburne’s kind of country has never been straight-up-the-middle. Instead, the Taylorsville, Kentucky -native grew up on a collection of honky-tonk, gospel, country and modern rock and roll, forging his own sound along the way.
JD Shelburne released his debut single “FARMBOY” nationwide to country radio stations on July 2, 2012! The song has been played on stations all across the United States since its release! The debut music video was also filmed in Shelburne’s hometown of Taylorsville, KY on his family farm and features former University of Kentucky Head Football Coach Joker Phillips!
This journey is on a rocket launch to the top….
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