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Rhett Akins

December 29, 1997

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According to country singer Rhett Akins, even big stars need to keep improving their work. "I feel that as an artist, you never stop growing and improving," stated Akins in an unmistakably country twang. "Unless you decide to, of course," he added. "Some artists will decide that they like one of their albums the way it is, and that they'll record their next several albums the exact same way. I don't do that. I'm always looking for new ways to change and improve, and I'm always more pleased with each album I record because I feel it's my best work yet."

One difference in his latest album, What Livin's All About, is that he didn't write, or even co-write, any of the twelve songs on it, although he co-wrote many of the songs on his two previous albums. The reason? Time!? Akins laughed. "I play over a hundred and fifty dates a year, and when you're out on the road, you really don't have a chance to write anything. Then when I get home, I want to spend time with my family." (Akins is married and has two children, Rhett, Jr., seven, and Kasey, three.)

However, Akins had so many good songs "thrown at" him, that he could record no fewer than twelve for this album (as opposed to his other albums, which had ten songs each). "I kept puzzling over it in my head, trying to narrow the list down, but I just couldn't be happy with cutting any of the songs out, so I recorded them all!" Rhett explained.

Akins continued," Some of these songs were so 'me' that I could have written them myself. I feel like I've brought it back home with this album, like it's a little bit closer to Rhett Akins - and I didn't even write any of the songs myself!"

As for a favorite song, Akins couldn't choose. "I could just pick any one at random and it would be my favorite!" he laughed. "I am really pleased with the current single More Than Everything, but I wouldn't say it was my favorite, because I like all the songs."

Also, he feels that people will be able to relate to the songs on What Livin's All About. "These are songs about life and love, and that really is 'what livin's all about'. Everyone falls in love, everyone falls out of love. I tried to pick songs that would stand the test of time - that I didn't just think would be hits this year, but that would still be around ten or twenty years from now."

Akins, too, hopes to still be in the music business ten or twenty years from now. "I love doing live shows and having contact with a live audience. And the most rewarding thing is when you see people in the audience singing the words to a song you wrote - not one that was a hit single, just one that was on your album. You know they must have listened to the album a lot, and that's a great feeling."

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