Multi-talented entertainer Charles Esten brought his acclaimed independent debut album, Love Ain’t Pretty, to NBC’s The Kelly Clarkson Show yesterday (1/29) for the rocking television premiere performance of “When Love Ain’t Love.” Written by Esten and Jeffrey East, listen to the cautionary tale of a romantic fallout produced by Marshall Altman here



After his headline-making appearance last spring in Los Angeles, Esten made a coast-to-coast reunion with host Kelly Clarkson for a sit-down chat about the long-awaited full-length project alongside fellow guests Kevin James and Renata Notni in New York City. He also connected onscreen with Clarkson’s “Rad Human,” 15-year-old cancer survivor and inspiring singer Elana Koenig. With personal connections to childhood cancer after his daughter Addie survived leukemia when she was 2 ½ years old, Esten was moved to invite Koenig to perform at his 11th Annual Light the Late Night benefit concert in the fall. Serving as the National Honorary Spokesperson for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Esten’s “Team Addie” has surpassed over $2.2 MILLION in cumulative funds raised over the last 10 years. Watch the sweet surprise on NBC’s The Kelly Clarkson Show here.


Featured by ParadeCowboys & IndiansCMT, and more, Esten’s Love Ain’t Pretty is being lauded by critics everywhere:

“the album is the purest representation of his artistry possible.” – GRAMMY.com

“being his true self has brought some of Esten’s biggest success, and that same spirit now

powers a remarkable debut album.” – Nashville Lifestyles

“loose, rough-cut country” – Billboard

"An emotionally connective album” – The Tennessean

“charismatic creator” – MusicRow

“Esten dares to get deep” – American Songwriter 

“Written with the wisdom and breadth that comes with time, Esten captures the dimensions of love, loss, growth, and hope.” – Forbes


Esten celebrated Love Ain’t Pretty with a SOLD-OUT first-time headlining concert at Nashville’s Exit/In for his album release show (1/26). Playing songs from the 14-track compilation (co-writing all with acoustic guitar credits), he further surprised the jam-packed house with a pop-up from former Nashville co-star Sam Palladio. With a follow-up appearance Saturday (1/27) during his 169th performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, he then took the Whiskey Jam stage for the 13th Anniversary show last night (1/29) at Nashville’s Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row. Visit here for upcoming dates on the worldwide LOVE AIN’T PRETTY TOUR this spring.




Multi-talent Charles Esten is a global entertainer. Best known for his roles as “Ward Cameron” on Netflix’s Outer Banks and “Deacon Claybourne” in ABC/CMT’s Nashville, the artist-songwriter introduces his independent debut album, Love Ain’t Pretty. Surpassing 21 MILLION streams to date, Esten is a 2018 Guinness World Records title holder for the “Most consecutive weeks to release an original digital single by a music act” after delivering 54 original songs once a week for 54 straight weeks. He’s made nearly 170 appearances at Nashville’s iconic Grand Ole Opry and performed multiple headline tours in the U.S., Germany, Amsterdam, and U.K., further embarking on his LOVE AIN’T PRETTY TOUR worldwide this spring. In addition, Esten serves as the National Honorary Spokesperson for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual Light The Night Walk, and is a board member and volunteer for Musicians On Call.