Drew Baldridge Reflects On Independent Journey To Radio Success With ‘She’s Somebody’s Daughter’ [Exclusive]

The tender song has officially cracked the Top 15 at country radio.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

June 20, 2024


5:27 pm

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Drew Baldridge; Photo by Russ Harrington

Over the past 10 months, Drew Baldridge has proved that independent artists can make great strides without the support of a major label. After his former record label, Cold River Records, closed its doors in 2019, the country star decided to take matters into his own hands and launch his own label to send his song “She’s Somebody’s Daughter” to country radio. As a result of his innovation and “can’t back down” attitude, he is now in the Top 15 on both the Mediabase and Billboard Airplay charts.

Baldridge’s career came to a halt when Cold River Records announced it was shutting down after nearly 15 years in business. The country star had just released “She’s Somebody’s Daughter” to streaming and while unsure of what the future held for him, he knew that this song was special and that it needed to be heard. 

The Unexpected Success Of “Senior Year”

Prior to this release, he dropped another song called “Senior Year,” which marked the start of his clever marketing strategies. The sentimental track ended up hitting home for the classes of 2020, who never got to say a proper goodbye to their final years in their school and it quickly became the soundtrack to many of their videos on social media. Baldridge caught onto this growing attention, and he started performing on Zoom for graduates, and eventually embarked on a whole Senior Year Tour at various graduation ceremonies. 

I was like, well, I’m just sitting on my couch. I’ll just post on socials and say I’ll do a Zoom concert for anybody in the class of 2020. It turned into about seven or eight Zoom concerts a day from my living room couch, just playing ‘Senior Year,’ kind of giving commencement speeches to these kids and then some schools were like, ‘Hey, would you come and play our drive-in graduation? Shoot. Yeah, I’m just sitting around.”

At the time, he still didn’t have a team to back him up – no agent, no manager, no label. So, he decided to go directly to the fans with a series of private backyard shows in various small towns around the U.S. for about three years. 

“It was like the coolest tour ever,” Baldridge told Country Now. “It was just so special. I got to meet people in their everyday life and the way I make music, it changed everything. Just like, I’m making music for people, not for Nashville, not for radio, not for any of that. I’m making music for humans. It changed everything.”


Who would want me to come play your graduation? #senioryear

♬ original sound – Drew Baldridge

Gaining Traction On Social Media

“She’s Somebody’s Daughter” continued to slowly rise in popularity among listeners, but without the proper support, Baldridge had no way of sending it to radio. So the song simply lived on streaming platforms without much movement until 2021, when he posted a video of his wife, Katherine Kraus, and her father dancing to the wedding version he recorded for their nuptials.

“’She’s Somebody’s Daughter’ was always her favorite song.  So I decided I’d make a wedding version for her. I made this wedding version and we got married and she danced to it with her dad. It was special. I sat side-stage there and just cried like a baby. It was awesome. I’ve been writing music since I was 16, 17, but I never dreamed I’d write the song that my future father-in-law and future wife would dance to on our wedding night.”

YouTube video

The video garnered nearly 10 million views overnight, leaving Baldridge feeling hopeful that this uptick in attention from fans would result in him landing a new record deal.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. 

So instead of waiting for a label to come to him, Baldridge began building out his own team and created the label, Lyric Ridge Records. He continued on his own and released a “reimagined” version of the song on his 2022 Country Born album followed by a remix with rapper Lathan Warlick.

Baldridge Forms Own Radio Team

In order to send “She’s Somebody’s Daughter” to airwaves, he began assembling his own radio team, which involved bringing former MCA Nashville promo team member Louie Newman out of retirement to lead it. The team currently consists of Newman, Chelle Fassig and Gwen Foster. Charlie Dean, Bill Heltemes, Megan Youngblood and Steve Pleshe have been part of the song’s journey as well. 

“I believe in this song so much. I’ve seen it react. I’ve seen the videos. I’ve seen all the streams. I’ve seen all the user-generated videos on TikTok. I know this song works and it means so much to me. I’m not going to take no for an answer,” he declared.

Seven months after hitting the airwaves, Baldridge earned his first Top 40 single. It has continued to rise up the charts and is now sitting in the Top 15. With this milestone, Baldridge admits it feels “crazy” to be talking about the next steps to get the track to the very top of the charts. 

“If I’m being honest with you, we’ve worked so hard. My team has worked so hard…we’ve just worked so hard to build this to where it’s at. And now I can’t believe we’re sitting here talking about Top 10 and what week should we make our number one push. That’s insane to me.”

Drew Baldridge revealed he has officially signed with a new agency and is hitting the ground running on his next chapter. He expects July to be a busy month of writing and recording new music for his loyal fans. 

“I think the craziest thing is I’ve been doing this alone, no booking agent and no manager,” he continued. “And now I just signed with an agency this past week and I’m finally able to play shows again without me having to book them and people are excited about what we’re doing again. It feels really, really good to be back in the game…This is what I always dreamed of doing is being on the radio and making music and I can continue to do that for my family.”

To see which stages Baldridge will be hitting next, visit drewbaldridgemusic.com.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.