Country music star, Ky. native Tyler Childers to perform at Beshear inauguration

Eastern Kentucky native and country music star Tyler Childers will perform at the Dec. 12 inauguration ceremony of Gov. Andy Beshear.

Beshear won a second term Nov. 7, defeating Republican challenger Attorney General Daniel Cameron by 5 percentage points.

First Lady Britainy Beshear announced Thursday that Childers would take the inaugural stage.

Childers’ performance will be accompanied by a reading from Kentucky Poet Laureate Silas House.

House is an author from Eastern Kentucky who has penned the best-selling novels “Clay’s Quilt” and “Southernmost,” among others. Beshear named House the state’s poet laureate earlier this year.

House and Childers recently collaborated on the music video for Childers’ song “In Your Love,” which tells a love story featuring two gay coal miners in Appalachia.

Beshear Senior Advisor Rocky Adkins, a fellow Eastern Kentucky native, will preside over the ceremony.

Childers, a Lawrence County native, rose from the local scenes of Lexington and Huntington, West Virginia, to international acclaim after the release of his 2017 album “Purgatory.”

Childers has cemented his place in national country music circles by regularly releasing chart-topping albums and singles ever since.

He made headlines in 2022 with the release of an old-time fiddle tune and protest album “Long Violent History.” He and fellow Kentucky native musicians Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton have sold out multiple shows in Rupp Arena.

Beshear is not the first Democratic politician Childers has publicly supported. In 2022, Childers backed former U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker’s run.

Nor is Childers the only famous Kentuckian with whom Beshear has built a relationship. Beshear has also cultivated ties to Louisville rapper Jack Harlow, who name-dropped the governor on his most recent album and stumped for Beshear at a campaign stop at the University of Louisville.

In September, Childers performed at the Appalachian Regional Commission’s conference in Ashland. Beshear, who co-chairs the commission, said he could tell “how important home and place is to him.”

“With him up for a Grammy this year, what a great story it says about Kentucky and Kentuckians, and the talent that we have here,” Beshear said. “Tyler’s music, like Jack’s, is so unique, and I think that’s a pretty special thing for this state.”

“What we’re seeing right now, is whether it is in entertainment or in other areas, so many Kentuckians not only succeeding, but really proud of being a Kentuckian. I think that’s really important, as we are rewriting our history and we’re writing a new future,” Beshear said.

“We’re becoming an economic powerhouse. It’s exciting to see these really successful people step up and talk about how much they love Kentucky.

“It’s a special place to be and to live, and as all these jobs come to Kentucky, these are ambassadors whose music and stories are going to help recruit more people who want to come and want to live here.”

Beshear also praised Childers and his wife, Senora May, for the work of their foundation, the Hickman Holler Appalachian Relief Fund. It seeks to bring awareness and financial support for philanthropic efforts in the Appalachian Region.

The swearing-in ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. on Dec. 12. Seating is available for the public and visitors may line up along the Capitol steps to watch the ceremony. It will also be aired on Kentucky Educational Television, according to Britainy Beshear.

The day will be filled with Frankfort events, including a breakfast reception, worship service and inaugural ball that evening. The ball is a ticketed event.