Hailed by GRAMMY.com as delivering a debut album, Love Ain’t Pretty, that’s “the purest representation of his artistry possible,” multi-talented entertainer Charles Esten took the stage for Spotlight: Charles Esten at the Clive Davis Theater inside the GRAMMY Museum® in Los Angeles, CA, on Wednesday night (3/6).

Offering an evening of conversation about his storied career and the creative process behind his independent full-length project, Esten’s friend and the former Music Supervisor of NashvilleDawn Solér, moderated the ticketed program, plus a lively audience Q&A from the packed house. Deep-diving into the poignant lyrics and revealing personal stories behind the Marshall Altman-produced songs on the 14-track collection (co-writing all with acoustic guitar credits), Esten then displayed his one-man-band showmanship, playing acoustic guitar, piano, percussion stomp box, and harmonica across his standing ovation-worthy set that spanned album cuts such as “One Good Move,” “Make You Happy,” and “Down The Road” (his collaboration with Eric Paslay). With Love Ain’t Pretty largely inspired by his nearly 40-year romance with his college sweetheart Patty, he dedicated a section of the show to his “Candlelight” as well – including a surprise birthday cake ahead of her special day.

Recently inviting the Country Music Association behind-the-scenes of his highly anticipated album release and SOLD-OUT headlining concert (1/26) at Exit/In in Nashville, TN, watch the “In Their Boots” segment here. In addition, Esten’s made major television appearances coast-to-coast including NBC’s The Kelly Clarkson Show, NBC’s Access Daily with Mario & Kit – hosted by Mario Lopez and Kit Hoover, and CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown, with top-tier features stacking by Southern LivingParadeCowboys & IndiansCMT, and more.


Charles Esten’s Love Ain’t Pretty is lauded by critics everywhere:

“Love Ain't Pretty is a testament to both Esten's patience and his passion. Combining his soulful country sound and emotive songwriting, Love Ain't Pretty poignantly captures his years of loving and learning.” – 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

“a troubadour gem” – 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


Tickets are on sale now, as Esten continues his worldwide trek with the LOVE AIN’T PRETTY TOUR later this month. Visit here for upcoming dates, locations, and full ticketing details. 




Global entertainer Charles Esten delivers his signature “loose, rough-cut country,” according to Billboard, to much acclaim with independent debut album, Love Ain’t Pretty. With Grammy.com hailing, “the album is the purest representation of his artistry possible,” Forbes further praises his 14-song co-write as “written with the wisdom and breadth that comes with time, Esten captures the dimensions of love, loss, growth, and hope.” Surpassing 21 MILLION streams to date, he’s a 2018 Guinness World Records title holder for the “Most consecutive weeks to release an original digital single by a music act” after releasing 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. A longtime storyteller as an artist-songwriter and actor, he’s popularly known for his roles as “Ward Cameron” on Netflix’s Outer Banks and “Deacon Claybourne” in ABC/CMT’s Nashville. 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.