Charles Esten is a multi-talented American singer, actor and comedian, better known professionally as Chip Esten. The versatile artist is recognized for his singing, acting roles and improv comedy acts. Esten is perhaps most popular among audiences for his role as Deacon Claybourne on the famous ABC drama series, Nashville.
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Esten was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and at the age of nine moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Here he and his sister were singlehandedly raised by their divorced mother. Charles attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg from where he graduated with a degree in Economics. He was also lead singer/songwriter in a popular local band in Williamsburg called N’est Pas.
The big break
Esten caught his first big break making his theatrical debut in London. Playing the lead role of Buddy Holly in the West End production of Buddy, Esten had the opportunity to perform before Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and eventually for George Bush at the White House. He also had the honor to perform with Joe B. Mauldin and Jerry Alison, the original members of the Crickets and Buddy Holly’s bandmates.
Esten’s role on Buddy garnered him considerable critical appreciation and led to other notable roles. It was during his work with the show that Esten first appeared on the British version of the comedy improv show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? Eventually he also played a role in the US version of the show starring Drew Carey.
Other notable television and movie appearances
A skilled actor and singer, Esten has also appeared on numerous other TV shows including Big Love, The Office, ER and Enlightened among others. Adding movie roles to his repertoire, Esten starred in The Postman, Swing Vote (alongside Kevin Costner) and in HBO’s biopic, 61*.
Esten stars on Nashville
In 2012, Esten began starring in the hit ABC drama series Nashville as country music singer Deacon Clayborne. The show portrays the lives and challenges of several fictional country music stars in the city of Nashville. The lead actors actually sing the songs their characters record so Esten has been featured on several singles released by the show.
Some of the more famous Nashville singles on which Charles Esten has featured include his duet with Connie Britton, “The Rivers Between Us”, “Friend of Mine” featuring Clare Bowen and Dana Wheeler, and solo track “Breathe In.” Perhaps his most popular performance on the show was the single “I Know How to Love You Now,” which has also gained immense appreciation at live concerts. Esten has also sung on the soundtrack for volume one of Nashville which has sold over one and a half million copies.
His single “Undermine” with Hayden Panetierre from the album The Music of Nashville: Season 1 Volume 1 has featured on the US country chart. Other singles that have notched a position on the charts include “No One Will Ever Love You” with Connie Britton, and “This Town” featuring Clare Bowen.
Esten’s incredible live performances
As part of Nashville concert tours, Charles had the opportunity to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, as well as the historic Ryman Auditorium. The singer-songwriter will be touring again with other Nashville cast members including Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio.
At Charles Esten live concerts audiences can expect to hear some of his best songs from Nashville as well as his originals and covers. On his previous shows the singer has perfectly blended soulful country ballads with high energy songs to bring a carefully balanced show for listeners. Country music audiences better get their hands on Charles Esten tickets soon to watch him live. His upcoming tour is also much anticipated and promises to be an entertaining one.