Four short years ago, Bailey Zimmerman was working on pipelines and building trucks and now, he’s celebrated three consecutive #1s on Country radio in under a year. Clearly a star in his own right, Bailey says he’s the one getting starstruck by the stars he’s had the opportunity to meet thanks to his success.
During a recent conversation with Audacy’s Katie Neal on the Superstar Power Hour, Zimmerman said the last time he felt starstruck was when he met the Jonas Brothers.
“[I] got to meet and hang and like kick it with 'em,” Bailey said of the trio including Kevin, Nick and Joe Jonas. “I would say we're kind of like friends. I'm like, ‘Dang dude, these guys are sick!’ They're like really chill and kicking it. And they treated me so good when we came to the show like, ‘Dude, you guys are the bomb man.’ And then the show is like unbelievable.”
The warm welcome to the music industry extended into the Country genre for 23-year-old Zimmerman, who has been taken under the wing of Country pals Morgan Wallen, HARDY and Ernest. Currently on tour with all three, Bailey says the guys welcomed him with open arms and have taught him a lot on the road as they’ve all been part of Morgan Wallen’s 2023 headlining tour, One Night At A Time.
“It just feels good to not have to like work at it and feel like I have to be somebody else because I'm just like, just me all the time,” Bailey said, acknowledging the friendship he shares with all three of his tourmates came very naturally. “They're just like cool and they laugh at me a lot because I'm just like so random and spazzy all over the place.”
He continued on to express his gratitude for their hospitality admitting he wasn’t sure how welcomed he’d be as a new member of the Country music scene and rather inexperienced. “I was really — not really nervous — just like, ‘Man, I really hope everybody's really cool with me and like just takes me in as like this young kid that's trying to do something out here.’ And that's what it was. Heck, I met Morgan in Big Loud [label] parking lot and he was the coolest dude. He was like, ‘Yeah, I've been listening to your song ‘Fall in Love.’ And I'm like, ‘What?!’”
Bailey’s rise to fame is expedited compared to most in the industry as he learned to sing just a few short years ago. With overnight success in such a public profession, Zimmerman has experienced his fair share of criticism, but the optimistic Illinois-native says he’s never let it make him feel unworthy of his accomplishments.
“I’ve always believed in myself,” Bailey said when asked if he’s every struggled with imposter syndrome. “I preach that every single night on tour and all the time, really in life. Is that like believing is 80% of the whole battle. If you believe in something… that’s the main part, just believe. I’ve got it tattoo’d on my arm.”
Hear more about Bailey’s incredible rise to fame, the stories behind his three consecutive #1’s at Country radio and more by checking out his entire conversation with Audacy’s Katie Neal above.
Words by Monica Rivera Interview by Katie Neal