What Made Riley Green Famous?

Frank Jones

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What Made Riley Green Famous

Riley Green is a rising star in the country music scene, known for his traditional sound and heartfelt lyrics.

Although he first gained some exposure as a contestant on CMT’s reality series “Redneck Island,” it was his debut single “There Was This Girl” that truly launched his career as a successful musician.

Since then, Green has continued to release chart-topping hits and tour extensively, cementing his place in the country music world. In this blog post, we will explore what made Riley Green famous, from his early life and career to his breakthrough moment with “There Was This Girl” and beyond.

We will also examine his unique style and sound, as well as his impact on the country music industry. Whether you’re a longtime fan of Riley Green or just discovering his music, this post will provide a comprehensive look at his rise to fame and ongoing success.

Early Life and Career of Riley Green

Birth and Childhood

Riley Green was born on October 18, 1988, in Jacksonville, Alabama. He grew up in a small town called Jacksonville, where he spent most of his childhood.

Green was raised in a musical family, and his father played guitar and sang in a local band. From an early age, Green was exposed to country music and developed a passion for the genre.

Early Musical Influences

Green’s early musical influences included classic country artists such as Hank Williams Jr., Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard. He also listened to rock and roll, citing bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers as inspirations.

First Steps in the Music Industry

Green began playing guitar at the age of 8 and started writing songs as a teenager. He played in local bands and performed at small venues and festivals around his hometown.

In 2008, Green won a talent competition that earned him the chance to open for country superstar Kenny Chesney at his concert in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This experience gave Green a taste of the big stage and inspired him to pursue a career in music.

After graduating from Jacksonville State University with a degree in business management, Green moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2013 to focus on his music career.

He started performing at local venues and honing his craft as a songwriter, eventually catching the attention of industry executives and signing a record deal with Big Machine Label Group in 2018.

The Redneck Island Experience

CMT’s “Redneck Island” is a reality television series that premiered in 2012.

The show features contestants competing in challenges to win a cash prize and the title of “Redneck Island Champion.” The challenges often involve outdoor activities and are designed to test the contestants’ strength, endurance, and country skills.

The show has been described as a cross between “Survivor” and “Jersey Shore” and has a devoted fanbase among country music fans.

Riley Green’s Participation

Riley Green appeared as a contestant on the fourth season of “Redneck Island” in 2016. He was selected to compete based on his outgoing personality and love for the outdoors.

Green’s participation in the show was relatively short-lived, as he was eliminated early on in the season. However, his time on the show helped him gain some exposure and build a fanbase.

Impact on His Career

While Riley Green’s appearance on “Redneck Island” may not have had a significant impact on his career in the long term, it did provide him with some valuable exposure and helped him gain some new fans.

In interviews, Green has spoken about how the experience taught him to be more confident in himself and his abilities, which helped him as he continued to pursue his music career.

Ultimately, it was Green’s talent and hard work that propelled him to success, but his appearance on “Redneck Island” was a small but memorable part of his journey.

Breakthrough With “There Was This Girl”

Release and Reception of the Single

In 2018, Riley Green released his debut single “There Was This Girl.” The song was written by Green and two co-writers and tells the story of a past love. The single was met with critical acclaim, with many praising Green’s storytelling abilities and traditional country sound.

The song was seen as a refreshing change of pace from the pop-influenced country music that was dominating the airwaves at the time.

Success on the Billboard Charts

“There Was This Girl” quickly climbed the Billboard Country Airplay chart, peaking at number 3 and spending a total of 37 weeks on the chart.

The single also reached number 1 on the Billboard Country Digital Song Sales chart and was certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales of over one million copies.

Significance of Riley Green’s Career

“There Was This Girl” was a breakthrough moment for Riley Green, propelling him to new heights of success in the country music industry. The single helped establish Green as a rising star in the genre and introduced him to a wider audience.

The success of the single also paved the way for his debut album, “Different ‘Round Here,” which was released in 2019 and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

Overall, “There Was This Girl” was a turning point in Riley Green’s career, setting the stage for even greater success in the years to come.

Style and Sound of Riley Green’s Music

Traditional Country Influences

Riley Green’s music is heavily influenced by traditional country artists such as Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Hank Williams Jr.

His sound is characterized by classic country instrumentation, including acoustic and electric guitars, fiddles, and steel guitars. Green’s music often incorporates elements of Southern rock and blues, giving his sound a distinctly Southern flavor.

Storytelling Lyrics

One of the defining features of Riley Green’s music is his ability to tell a compelling story through his lyrics. Many of his songs explore themes of love, heartbreak, and the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

Green’s storytelling ability is particularly evident on tracks such as “There Was This Girl,” which tells the story of a past love, and “I Wish Grandpas Never Died,” which pays tribute to the memories and lessons passed down from previous generations.

Catchy Hooks and Memorable Melodies

In addition to his storytelling abilities, Riley Green is known for his catchy hooks and memorable melodies. Many of his songs feature sing-along choruses and infectious hooks that are designed to get stuck in listeners’ heads.

This approach has helped Green appeal to a broad audience, including both traditional country music fans and those who are drawn to more mainstream pop-influenced country music.

Overall, Riley Green’s music is characterized by a blend of traditional country influences, storytelling lyrics, and catchy hooks and melodies.

His sound is firmly rooted in the Southern tradition, and his ability to connect with listeners through his music has helped him become one of the most exciting young artists in country music today.

Continued Success and Impact on Country Music

Follow-up Singles

Following the success of “There Was This Girl,” Riley Green has continued to release chart-topping singles. In 2019, he released “In Love By Now” and “I Wish Grandpas Never Died,” both of which reached the top 20 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

In 2020, he released “If It Wasn’t For Trucks” and “Better Than Me,” both of which have also received widespread critical acclaim.

Touring and Live Performances

Riley Green is known for his high-energy live performances and has toured extensively throughout the United States. He has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in country music, including Brad Paisley, Jon Pardi, and Luke Combs.

Green’s live shows are characterized by his charismatic stage presence and his ability to connect with his audience.

Influence on the Country Music Industry

Riley Green’s success has had a significant impact on the country music industry. His traditional sound and storytelling approach to songwriting has helped to reinvigorate interest in classic country music among younger audiences.

Green has also been outspoken about his desire to honor the legacy of classic country artists and has advocated for the inclusion of more traditional country music on mainstream radio.

His influence can be seen in the work of many younger country artists who are embracing a more traditional sound and approach to songwriting.

Overall, Riley Green’s continued success and impact on the country music industry are a testament to his talent and dedication to his craft. He has proven himself to be a rising star in the genre, and his music is helping to shape the future of country music for generations to come.

Riley Green’s Discography

Album/EP TitleRelease Year
Outlaws Like Us2017
In a Truck Right Now (EP)2018
Different ‘Round Here2019
If It Wasn’t For Trucks (EP)2020
Behind the Bar (EP)2021

Note: This table outlines Riley Green’s major album and EP releases, along with the corresponding release year.


What other TV shows or competitions has Riley Green appeared on?

Riley Green’s appearance on Redneck Island was his first major TV appearance, but he has since performed on a number of other shows, including Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Has Riley Green won any major awards?

While he has yet to win any major awards, Riley Green has been nominated for several prestigious honors, including a Country Music Association award for New Artist of the Year and an Academy of Country Music award for New Male Artist of the Year.

Does Riley Green have any plans for a new album or tour?

Riley Green has been relatively active in releasing new music and touring, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. He released a new EP titled If It Wasn’t For Trucks in 2020, and has continued to tour throughout the United States. Fans can likely expect new music and tour dates from Green in the near future.

What is Riley Green’s connection to his hometown of Jacksonville, Alabama?

Riley Green is very proud of his Southern roots and has maintained a strong connection to his hometown throughout his career. In fact, his debut single “Bury Me in Dixie” was inspired by his love for his home state of Alabama.

Has Riley Green collaborated with any other artists?

Yes, Riley Green has collaborated with several other country artists, including Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line and Tenille Arts. He has also co-written songs with other artists such as Eric Church and Luke Combs.


Riley Green’s journey to success in the country music industry has been a remarkable one. From his humble beginnings as a contestant on a reality series, Green has established himself as one of the most exciting young artists in the genre.

His music, which blends traditional country influences with catchy hooks and storytelling lyrics, has resonated with fans around the world, and his impact on the industry is undeniable.

Through his continued success and dedication to honoring the legacy of classic country music, Riley Green is helping to shape the future of the genre.

He has proven that there is still a place for traditional country music in the modern era, and his music serves as an inspiration to a new generation of country artists.

As he continues to tour, release new music, and connect with his fans, it is clear that Riley Green’s star will only continue to rise in the years to come.

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