All the latest news, interviews and updates.

Charles Esten Returns To Heart Of Nashville With Debut Album

Nancy Berk for FORBES

Love Ain’t Pretty, Charles Esten’s newly released independent debut album, has been more than a decade in the making. Fine-tuned by life and career experiences, like starring in ABC/CMT’s series Nashville (Esten portrayed country artist Deacon Claybourne), and being on the road with the sell-out Nashville The Reunion Tour, Love Ain’t Pretty has been a collective process for the actor-singer-songwriter.

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Nashville's influence prominent as ever on Charles Esten's debut album

Marcus K. Dowling for The Tennessean

On Jan. 26 at the EXIT IN, Charles Esten celebrates the release of "Love Ain't Pretty," his debut artist album after 30 years in entertainment.

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The Nashville star is ready to release Love Ain’t Pretty, his first solo album.

By Joe Leyton for COWBOYS & INDIANS

And now, at long last, we have the first solo album from Nashville star Charles Esten.

Yes, you read that right: First solo album.

Sure, Esten has lifted his voice in song on a fairly regular basis throughout most of his decades-long show business career, going back to his 1991 breakthrough on London’s West End as star of Buddy, an exuberant stage musical about the legendary Buddy Holly. More recently, he was totally convincing and potently compelling Deacon Claybourne, the sexy and sensitive, troubled yet talented country star who loomed large in over 120 episodes of Nashville, the 2012-18 filmed-on-location series about dreamers and schemers in Music City.


Charles Esten On How Procrastination, Serendipity And "Nashville" Resulted In 'Love Ain't Pretty'

By Taylor Weatherby for GRAMMY.COM

For the first time in his career, Charles Esten is fully focused on music. But as the actor/singer details, his debut album, 'Love Ain't Pretty' is much more than another venture — it's a lifelong goal achieved.

Like many of his peers, Charles Esten has known music is his calling since he was a kid. But at 58, he's just now getting the opportunity to do what his contemporaries are long past: release a debut album.

As fans of the beloved ABC/CMT series "Nashville" or the hit Netflix drama "Outer Banks" know, Esten first established himself in the acting world. But as his "Nashville" role revealed, the actor also had some strong singing chops, too — and it wasn't a coincidence.

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Charles Esten Talks the Meaning Behind His Emotional Track “Somewhere in the Sunshine”


You should see this place, it’s beautiful / It’s every place we ever tried to find, is the opening line to Charles Esten‘s affecting track, “Somewhere in the Sunshine.”

Esten and songwriter Jon Nite painted a comforting, reassuring picture of the afterlife with this track. Though it’s relatively simple in scope, it packs a heavy emotional punch.
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How Charles Esten Turned Acting in 'Nashville' into a Career in Country Music

By Walter Scott for PARADE

The actor discusses his new album 'Love Ain't Pretty,' starring on Outer Banks and his first time playing at the Opry.

It’s been more than 10 years in the making, but Charles Esten, the Nashville star, 58, is releasing his debut album, Love Ain’t Pretty (on sale Jan. 26), which began taking shape when he first arrived in Music City to take on the role of Deacon Claybourne. Esten, who cowrote all 14 songs with some of Nashville’s best songwriters, has released several singles since that time, but this is his first compilation of songs that explores life, love and the passing of time through the lens of a traveled and tested everyman.

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Charles Esten Announces European Headline Tour


Multi-talented singer/songwriter and actor Charles Esten has announced that he will be returning to the UK/Europe in April 2024, for headline shows in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.

Commenting on his return to the UK and Europe, Esten shared: “Some of my earliest musical performances were way back in 1991 playing Buddy Holly in the hit West End musical BUDDY. That’s when I began my love affair with UK audiences who – quite literally – danced in the aisles. 

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Charles Esten gears up for upcoming Light the Night Walk on Friday

By Amelia Young for News Channel 5

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Light the Night returns October 27 at First Horizon Park. The evening walk draws a crowd of thousands to raise funds for those battling cancer, specifically leukemia and lymphoma. Attendees can register here.

Musician and actor Charles Esten has seen the fight against the disease firsthand. His daughter, Addie, is a survivor and each year he takes time to raise money for the cause. Esten once again serves as the Light the Night Honorary Chair.More Here

I saw Nashville In Concert and it proved that we all can have A Life That's Good

By Andy Rudd for The Mirror


Charles - who played Deacon - performs Back Home and a beautiful acoustic version of his new single Somewhere In The Sunshine.

The song is about loss in his life and how those who have passed are ‘singing to us and healing us’.

You can hear a pin drop as the crowd is totally silent, listening to every word…’no more pain, finally free I'm right where I'm meant to be. No, I ain't there beneath that Georgia pine, I’m somewhere in the sunshine.”

Speaking about the background to the song on his YouTube channel Charles said: “The ending is so important to me…’close your eyes, lift your head, feel the sun on your face. Somewhere in the sunshine’.

He adds: “Then you’re both in the sunshine in that moment. I just want people to hear it and see if it blesses them.”

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Charles Esten's Pen Is All Over Debut Album 'Love Ain't Pretty'


A long-awaited independent debut album from Nashville star Charles Esten is finally taking shape. The 14-track project, titled Love Ain't Pretty, is scheduled to arrive on Jan. 26, 2024, but the actor-turned-singer won't be waiting that long to share some of it.

"I am so proud to finally announce that I’ve recorded my 14-song debut album, and it’s being released January 26th." 

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Charles Esten Breaks Debut Album News, Talks Eric Paslay Collab and Upcoming 'Nashville' Reunion Tour (Exclusive)

By Ilana Kaplan for PEOPLE

The 'Outer Banks' star's long-awaited debut album 'Love Ain't Pretty' is due Jan. 26, 2024

Charles Esten's debut album has been a long time coming.

While playing Deacon Claybourne — the loyal, brooding songwriter and guitarist struggling with addiction — on the country soap Nashville for over six seasons , music became an integral part of the role. Naturally, his real-life began to somewhat parallel that of his on-screen alter-ego, and in 2016, Esten, 57, began releasing music of his own — allowing him to pursue a longtime passion properly.

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Actor and musician Charles Esten performs on LION Lunch Hour!

Charles Esten performs his new song 'In a Bar Somewhere' live on LION Lunch Hour!

Watch here!

Charles Esten Announces Faith-Inspired Single “A Little Right Now”


“Everybody, in all walks of life, finds themselves at a point in time when they’re not feeling the faith they used to feel, whether it’s a faith in a greater power, in God, faith in their own abilities, or faith in things working out,” says singer-songwriter Charles Esten, calling American Songwriter from his Nashville home. “There are things that are out of your hands, and that’s where faith comes in—but sometimes, you’re just not feeling it.”

Charles Esten on the Story Behind New Song, ‘One Good Move’: ‘I Was Just a Bad Decision Machine’

by Melinda Newman, for BILLBOARD

The song, which premieres below, appears on the 'Nashville' and 'Outer Banks' actor's debut album.

....Written with Sam Bacicoff, Zarni deVette, and Elise Hayes, the deeply personal power ballad is the first taste of Esten’s debut album, which he will release later this year. 


‘Outer Banks’ Star Reflects on Saying Goodbye to Show With “Poetic” Final Episode

by Ryan Gajewski for THE LA TIMES

The departing performer tells The Hollywood Reporter about alternate versions written for that fateful scene and the mixed emotions in exiting the popular Netflix series....

How did you feel about season three and the ways in which Ward got to evolve?

It’s been very gratifying to me because it’s not often that the bad guy gets any kind of emotional arc. But from the very beginning, they put it in the lines, and they allowed me to run wild with it, is that other side of Ward that makes people not exactly sure they hate him (laughs) — where they might just see a human being under there.


Inside the ‘most debated’ plot twist in ‘Outer Banks’ history

by Max Gao for THE LA TIMES

Warning: The following contains spoilers for “Outer Banks” Season 3.

In the first three seasons of Netflix’s “Outer Banks,” the Pogues — the moniker adopted by a close-knit group of working-class teens residing off the coast of North Carolina — have survived near-fatal drownings, plane crashes, car chases, animal attacks, fiery explosions, countless gunshots and other brushes with greedy treasure hunters looking to cash in on their international search for an ancient fortune.

So when they set out to wrap up a three-season, 30-episode mystery involving the mythical city of gold known as El Dorado, co-creators and executive producers Josh Pate, Jonas Pate and Shannon Burke were prepared to swing for the fences.


Madelyn Cline Can Finally Talk About That Outer Banks Finale

by Max Gao for W

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Outer Banks season 3.


Towards the end of the finale, Sarah’s father, Ward (Charles Esten), in a rare act of selflessness, pays the ultimate price to save her from a vengeful bodyguard. How did you want to play those final moments between Sarah and Ward?

[The writers] had written for Ward to fall backwards off the cliff, and Ward saving Sarah and the Pogues as an active decision was actually a Chip call [meaning it came from Esten]. Chip felt like it was way more poetic if that was the way Ward went. And I felt like he was spot on because it only seemed right that the one time Ward showed up for Sarah without any ill intent or underlying malice was the one time that it killed him....


Charles Esten Announces Forthcoming Independent Debut Album

by Caela Griffin for MUSIC ROW

Charles Esten surprised fans by announcing “One Good Move,” the first single off his independent debut album, while live on CBS’s The Talk. The single, releasing March 3, marks the beginning of a new chapter for the artist-songwriter and actor, a decade after arriving in Nashville.


'Outer Banks' Charles Esten Details Cast's Immediate Bond, Teases Season 3 (Exclusive)


The Outer Banks set is a magical place to be! ET's Will Marfuggi spoke to Charles Esten at the show's season 3 premiere in Los Angeles Thursday night where he spoke about the immediate bond amongst the cast.

"It's funny, because whenever it has popped, whenever something has happened, I promise you, I always feel a certain magic around it -- I can't put my finger on what it was. In this case, it was the chemistry of the kids," Esten shared. "It was that very first table read. I felt like, I thought maybe they had known each other a long, long time but it turned out they had just met. But that bond, I go, 'I would watch that.'"


Darius Rucker Honored By Musicians On Call During Millions Of Moments Celebration, Says Performing For Patients Is “Healing”

by Nicole Palsa for MUSIC MAYHEM

...Esten kicked off the live music with an original song, “Make You Happy,” which Esten tells Music Mayhem he thought was a perfect fit for the occasion. “We’re trying to lift hearts a little bit and that is the very essence of Musicians on Call.”