NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Brett Eldredge was having a good hair day, and he knew it. He was wearing a dark T-shirt, fitted jeans, loafers and light makeup on a Tuesday in late July. The country singer stepped away from the camera lens at CMT and headed down a series a winding hallways to his sparsely furnished dressing room.
“You look especially handsome today, Brett,” someone told him as he walked by. “It’s the hair!” he shot back.
Known for his timeless vocals and sophisticated style, the singer is riding a wave of six consecutive No. 1 songs, including Mean to Me and Wanna Be That Song. While his new album — in stores Friday — will likely push that number even higher, he admits the romantic nature of his songs might have turned him into country music’s most eligible bachelor.
“You gotta be honest with where you are with love,” he said, rocking back on a stool. “It does open another door to a lot of people coming up to me and saying, ‘I think we’re meant to be together.’ I sing about wanting to find love … and I think a lot of people connect with that, because half the people out there haven’t found it yet, either.
Eldredge’s Brett Eldredge is home to 12 songs, most about love and all co-written by the single singer. His current radio hit Somethin’ I’m Good At is an edgy stylistic departure for Eldredge that transports him from ballad land to the Technicolor world of rapid-fire rejoicing over a love match.
“You have to grow or you’ll be out of the game,” said Warner Music Nashville Chairman and CEO John Esposito. “When you start to have success you get more confident. With confidence comes adventurousness both with the song structure and taking risks to push the edge.
Other standouts on the album include the ballad The Long Way about making the effort to get to know someone beyond the surface.
“It’s about taking a trip around their life through conversation,” Eldredge said. “Put down your phone for a minute and get lost in someone’s eyes.”
Castaway is a stripped bare, lonely ballad the singer prays isn’t his future. Cycles is an emotional recount of an on-again, off-again relationship. The Reason showcases his Frank Sinatra influence. And There’s No Stopping You is a song of encouragement Eldredge recently realized he wrote for himself.
“Brett is just one of those artists whose music comes from deep within his soul,” said syndicated country radio personality Lon Helton. “Brett is on the brink of stardom. His great voice is just the start. He’s affable, funny, good looking. All four of my 20-something nieces recently vowed to leave their boyfriends for him.
The added attention does complicate meeting that someone special. Eldredge prefers to keep his personal life private and finds his dating conundrum confusing and “very interesting.”
Sometimes he can predict when someone is about to approach him romantically. She might just slip him her phone number, a business card or tell him about her pretty daughter. Other times, he said, women have been surprisingly bold. Maybe too bold.
“I figured out a way to smile,” he said. “I never say anything negative. I always figure out a positive way to get out of it. I don’t even know how I do it until it actually happens. I think it’s kind of fun … pretty gals walking up to me, you know? Knowing that I’m a single, bachelor guy … there’s worse things.”
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