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As awesome as being part of a legacy might sound, along with the perks come the inevitable challenges of setting yourself apart from your predecessors and attaining your own success without riding on the coattails of your name.

Some celebrities change their name to avoid comparisons and accusations, others just bow out of the spotlight altogether. Thomas Rhett wasn’t bowing. Although he did drop Akins from his professional name, his socials proudly declare that he is an Akins. And while he never wanted it to be the focus, he has never shied away from talking about his famous father, Rhett Akins, in interviews.

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But why would he? Thomas has long credited his father with teaching him the business of music and the art of songwriting. The rest of it, T-Rhett learned by watching his famous father taking the stage during his own artist career in the 1990s.

Sure, they are a lot different from each other, but that doesn’t mean that Thomas wasn’t studying. And a new photo he posted on Instagram on Feb. 25 shows how young he started.

Pictured is serious little moppet Thomas Rhett, sitting in the empty seats of an amphitheater watching what we assume is his dad onstage. In the caption, Thomas admits, “Overanalyzing the set list since 1996. Thanks for the photo, Pops. @officialrhettakins”

Over analyzing the set list since 1996. Thanks for the photo pops. @officialrhettakins

A post shared by ThomasRhettAkins (@thomasrhettakins) on

Thomas must have been about six-years-old when the photo was taken and was already infatuated with the idea of a career in music. And there’s plenty more documentation to show that while he didn’t follow in his dad’s exact footsteps, he was definitely inspired by Rhett. And as attentive as Thomas is as he watches his dad on that stage, it would seem that he paid even closer attention to how his dad wrote songs. For good reason.

Ya know, just me and @thomasrhettakins writing a smash back in the day. Thanks @jarrett0615

A post shared by Rhett Akins (@officialrhettakins) on

Rhett has amassed nearly 30 No. 1 country hits, including his own “Don’t Get Me Started,” Justin Moore’s “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” and Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee” and “Boys ‘Round Here,” along with three dozen Top 40 singles like the Rhett Akins fan favorite, “That Ain’t My Truck.”

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It only makes sense that Thomas and Rhett would combine their collective brain power and write together, too, and that seems to work out pretty well for both of the Akins boys.  The pair penned the 2013 Lee Brice Top 10, “Parking Lot Party,” as well as Thomas Rhett’s fun sing-along, “Whatcha Got in That Cup” and his 2016 No. 1 “Star of the Show.”

Rhett does have a daughter, too, Thomas Rhett’s sister, Kasey, but she hasn’t shown an interest in music as a career. Give it a few years and we’ll find out if either of Thomas’ kids, Willa Gray or Ada James, has caught the music bug.

Thomas Rhett flashes back to being in the audience watching someone else in the spotlight Instagram/@thomasrhettakins
Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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