These Country Stars Came from Nothing: What do They Have in Common?


country music artist

Why do we like to hear Cinderella stories? What is so intriguing about “rags to riches” tales?

It’s a beautiful thing to come from nothing and become a huge star.

So let’s look at a few country artists who’ve come from nothing and see if there’s some common theme.

Johnny Cash

country music artist

Back in the day, Cash sang about his roots — poverty, difficulty, and being a simple country boy (the best example of this is his song “Country Boy”).

Cash may not have had much cash, but he had the right mentality.

“You build on failure,” Cash once said. “You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

Instead of focusing on how he’s failed, he knew to focus on what was most important.

“The things that have always been important,” he said. “To be a good man, to try to live my life the way God would have me, to turn it over to Him that His will might be worked in my life, to do my work without looking back, to give it all I’ve got, and to take pride in my work as an honest performer.”

Dolly Parton

country music artist

Parton was a pauper, it’s true.

The daughter of a diligent farmer, Parton came from a very poor household. Her big song “Coat of Many Colors” tells the true story of when her mother made a coat from literal rags for the future country star.

She went on to win several awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She’s learned a lot of lessons about life too; here are some of the nuggets of wisdom she’s learned along the way:

“Storms make trees take deeper roots.”

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”

“You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”
Preach it, Dolly. Preach it.

Freddie Hart

country music artist

From the moment Hart came into the world in 1926, he was in poverty. He was one of 15 children. You read that right: 15.

But he made it through childhood alive. Did he accept his fate as a poor man and crumble into forfeiture?

Nope. He believed in miracles, or so it seemed. As he sang in his song, “Look-a-here”:

“Look-a-here, just look-a-here. It’s just too good to be true. Miracles happen, yes they do.”

How did he end up writing songs recorded by Carl Smith, Patsy Cline, and George Jones? He kept at it, he stayed faithful to his craft. And eventually, he signed with Capitol Records in 1953, launching him into success.So what’s the secret to overcoming “rags” and getting to the “riches”? What do these three stars have in common?

So what’s the secret to overcoming “rags” and getting to the “riches”? What do these three stars have in common?

Determination. Grit. Focus. A passion to overcome hardship. These are what make a star.