Meet the couple who fell in love over a shared obsession with Brantley Gilbert YouTube/Grand Ole Opry
YouTube/Grand Ole Opry

It’s not unusual for fans to express their love for their favorite music star in a big way. But, even when many supporters go the extra mile for their top artist, there’s always one who sticks out the most.

That’s why the Grand Ole Opry has decided to honor some of country music’s biggest fans with its new YouTube series, “Fandom: Fully Committed.”

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And, this time around it features two people who seem to bond over their love for one certain star.

Meet Mark Schardan and his wife, Tina. The couple from Wright City, Missouri, are happy to be a part of Brantley Gilbert’s BG Nation. Mark, who is a self-proclaimed die-hard Brantley fan, began his fandom years ago after his father won a ticket to the singer’s concert. As for Tina, she find’s her husband’s obsession with the crooner cute.

“So today is BG Day,” she says of the two’s plan to see Brantley in concert for the umpteenth time. “We start early, because, you know, he’s got to be the first in line — especially for VIP,” she says of Mark.

“I love to see how excited he gets when we go to a concert, because he’s like a little kid,” she continues. “As soon as the merchandise booth opened, he ran out there and said, ‘Save my spot.’ Fifteen minutes later he came back with a $500 receipt.”

As you might expect, the Schardan’s home is full of Brantley swag.

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Outside, they have a sign on their door which reads, “Unless Ur God or BG, Take Ur Boots Off.” Mark’s license plate on his vehicle also reads “BG Nation.” The couple even turned their basement into something of a museum dedicated to Brantley.


“For us, man, God’s blessed us beyond imaginable with these people. Their dedication and support, I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Brantley of his fans. “I never asked to be a role model. I try my best with my songwriting to write about my life and the things that I’ve been through. I think the majority of the people in the BG Nation are people that can relate to those songs and those stories. And, if that’s the case, then they’re not that much different than I am.”

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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