WKU alumnus making name as country artist

Kayla Boyd

Brent Rupard graduated from WKU in 2009 with a physical education degree. But as a country music singer now living in Nashville, he’s taken a different turn.

Rupard signed to Sea Gayle Records in 2011, a label launched by country music star Brad Paisley.   

His budding music career has seen him appear at the 2013 CMA Music Festival, open for The Band Perry and open for Randy Houser at the 2013 U.S. Bank Balloons, Tunes and BBQ concert this past Saturday in Bowling Green. 

Rupard, who is originally from Shepherdsville, said he has been interested in music his entire life. He’s been writing and singing songs since he was 10 years old.

“They weren’t very good, but I wrote them,” Rupard said.

Rupard grew up around music. On his father’s side there are a lot of instrument players, and his dad’s grandmother was a songwriter. His mother, Shirley, said her son has been enamored by music for as long as she can remember.

“He’s been interested in music since he was real small,” she said. “My husband taught him a few chords when he was little. He always used to play the drums and guitar after school everyday. He played in church growing up as well.” 

After graduating from WKU in 2009, Rupard was a substitute teacher for two years before he pursued his dream to become a country musician in 2011.

Now, Rupard’s working on his own record.

“We started last week,” Rupard said. “I’m working really hard to make it unique, trying to be as original as possible.”

LeAnn W, senior creative director for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, said she met Rupard three years ago and expects greats things from the aspiring musician.

“I’ve seen a lot of people and been in the business for a long time,” she said. “I would definitely put my money on Brent to have a long career as a songwriter and musician.”