Bailey Zimmerman is a 23-year-old whose life took an unexpected 360 turn as a result of social media. One day, he was working a manual labor job and the next, he was ranked as Billboard’s 2022 No. 2 Top New Country Artist and No. 4 Top New Artist across all genres.
Additionally, with nearly 2 billion career streams to date, the fast-rising artist can proudly say that he was the only country artist to earn not one, but two RIAA Platinum certifications in 2022 with his debut single, “Fall In Love” and fan-favorite “Rock and A Hard Place.”
“Fall In Love”
Co-written by Zimmerman alongside Gavin Lucas and Austin Shawn, “Fall In Love” was the first debut song to make its way to No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart in 2022 and became the fastest debut single to reach No. 1 at country radio since 2015, a major feat for a brand-new artist. As for “Rock And A Hard Place,” the Jet Harvey, Jacob Hackworth and Heath Warren penned song holds the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart for the sixth consecutive week.
According to Billboard, this makes Zimmerman “the first male artist to spend six weeks atop Country Airplay just two or fewer promoted chart entries, in a lead role, into a career.” This has only been done one other time, and it was when “Carrie Underwood’s first promoted country single, ‘Jesus, Take the Wheel,’ dominated for six weeks in January-February 2006.”
As a result of his roaring success and growing fanbase, the breakout singer/songwriter inked a deal with Warner Music Nashville and Elektra Music Group in April of 2022.
He’s also started to receive recognition from the industry through award shows such as CMT and the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards. He recently earned his first-ever nomination with the Academy of Country Music Awards for Best New Male Artist of the Year and he is slated to perform at the 58th ACM Awards ceremony on May 11, 2023.
The “Where It Ends” singer landed a major opportunity when he was invited to tour with one of the biggest country acts in the game right now, Morgan Wallen. Now, Zimmerman is on the road singing to record-breaking crowds in support of Wallen’s 2023 One Night At A Time World Tour.
Keep reading to learn more about Bailey Zimmerman through these 10 facts.
He’s a native of Louisville, IL
Zimmerman grew up in a small town of Louisville, IL, which is located in Clay County and holds a population of 1,110, according to latest US Census estimates. After jetting into the country music scene, he made the move to Nashville, TN to continue pursuing his new career.
His parents influenced his love for music
Bailey Zimmerman grew to love music from listening to hours of country music on the radio to fill the time on trips across state lines with his father, who owned a trucking business. At the same time, when he was back home, his mom instilled in him a life-long appreciation for power chords.
“We would get up at 3 a.m. and do these drives, and he would always have country music playing. One of the big country songs when I was growing up was Craig Morgan’s ‘Wake Up Lovin’ You.’ My dad loved that song and would turn it up any time it came on,” he told Billboard.
His first job was working on gas pipelines
Straight out of high school, at just 16 years old, the Illinois native got his first job at a local meat processing plant. Here, he learned the value of hard work as he spent long hours putting forth manual labor on gas pipelines.
His music career started on TikTok
When he wasn’t working his everyday job, Zimmerman spent his time customizing his GMC pickup truck. He began posting about the process on TikTok in 2020 and rapidly gained a following of interested viewers. A new demographic was drawn to Zimmerman’s social media page when he started to combine his truck videos with clips of him singing. Many took a liking to his talent and not long after, his name was spreading across the country music industry like wildfire.
His original song, “Never Comin’ Home” blew up in 2021
Zimmerman’s TikTok videos often included his friend and fellow singer/songwriter, Gavin Lucas. Together, they penned an edgy country song titled, “Never Comin’ Home” and posted their work to social media. With Lucas’ help, the singer recorded a demo of “Never Comin’ Home” in a garage and earned over one million plays just in one night. This tune earned the nod of approval not only from fans, but industry executives who began to take a closer look at Zimmerman in early 2021. He later went on to release a live acoustic version.
His first performance was at a music festival
The very first time Zimmerman stepped on a stage, he fell in love with the adrenaline from the crowd. Even though he only had a 25-minute time slot, the singer will never forget the moment he got to perform at Rock the South music festival in 2021. This annual event held each summer in Cullman, Alabama featured Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde and more as headliners that year.
“I didn’t realize how fit you need to be to be able to run around and stuff, but since then I’ve got addicted to it real quick,” he confessed.
He used to play baseball
Before music was at the forefront of his life, Zimmerman played “a lot” of baseball. He gave music a shot early on when he learned to play guitar at nine years old, but a few years later, he shifted his focus to baseball and riding dirt bikes.
He comes from an entrepreneurial family
Zimmerman may be the only member of his family pursuing a career in music, but they have all proved to be determined and creative in their separate lines of work. His father runs a trucking business along with the family-owned towing and salvage yard and his brother owns a metal shop. Plus, his grandfather used to own a car shop where his mom worked frequently. This business has since been passed down to Zimmerman’s mom and uncle.
His first album is on the way
On May 12, Zimmerman will unveil his debut album, Religiously. The Album, via Warner Music Nashville/Elektra. This full-length project will showcase his passion for storytelling through 16 tracks, 11 of which he served as a co-writer on. Among the track list will be his newest single, “Religiously,” as well as previously released “Fix’n’ To Break,” “Fall In Love,” “Rock and A Hard Place,” and “Where It Ends.”
This project will follow his 2022 debut EP, Leave The Light On, which made history upon release as the most-streamed all-genre debut of 2022 and the biggest streaming country debut of all time.
He will be featured on the official soundtrack for the upcoming movie, Fast X.
Shortly after his album drops, Zimmerman’s voice will be heard in the tenth and final installment of the Fast & Furious mega franchise, Fast X, set for release on May 19. The powerful new song titled “Won’t Back Down” was written by Conner and Riley McDonough, Jakke Erixon, Kentrell DeSean Gaulden, and Yonatan Goldstein and features collaborators YoungBoy Never Broke Again and Dermot Kennedy.
Fans can follow Bailey Zimmerman on Instagram.