Fit celebrities like Jason Momoa are lampooned for getting a little soft in the middle, while others like Adam Sandler are celebrated as fashion icons.
But we here at Whiskey Riff love the Dad Bod. Maybe it’s because we support body positivity and acknowledge that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes (especially when you account for all of those empty Coors Light calories).
Maybe it’s because some of us are dads ourselves and we’ve realized that the inevitable stresses, time constraints, and easy access to snacks inherent in modern parenting naturally lead to some post-kids weight gain.
Or maybe it’s because some of our favorite country artists are using their public platforms to reject the notion that you have to look like Parker McCollum or Riley Green to attract impressionable eyeballs.
Country music fans are looking for authenticity these days. And there are few things more authentic than a man who’s not afraid to flaunt a physique that’s a little more filled-out than it was when his metabolism was burning through piles of deep-fried Twinkies in his 20’s.
The following 10 country stars are the inspiration we all need to kick off Dad Bod Summer with confidence, gusto, and as little clothing as possible.
When coming up with the list, factors that influenced the rankings included an artist’s willingness to gratuitously flaunt his dad bod, his relative levels of self-awareness and self-deprecating humor, and my extremely biased and recklessly fabricated opinions as a self-proclaimed Dad Bod Ambassador. Super scientific stuff here.
10. Jason Aldean
As the patron saint of bro country and regular wearer of painted-on jeans, an aging Aldean will always have a home on a list like this.
But sadly, he’s slipped in the rankings due to a mid-life focus on a healthy diet (or perhaps a mid-life marriage to an Instagram influencer) that has him looking rather svelte these days. He’ll need a healthy dose of Cheat Days in the coming years if he ever hopes to fill out those skinny jeans and make a late-career move back up the list.
9. Chris Stapleton
Behind the hair and beard, it’s tough to tell exactly the kind of build Stapleton sports on-stage. He’d much rather shred on his guitar than shake his ass around in choreographed dance moves like so many of his mainstream, headlining contemporaries.
The rising country star checked the dad box early in life, and he’s very open about his family life on social media, regularly posting authentic shots with his wife and kids.
In one such post, you can clearly see Crocs on his feet, demonstrating that he is interested in both comfort and fashion, like every seasoned dad should be. His high school football background blessed him with a sturdy foundation that will support the dad bod that is surely a part of his promising future.
Speaking of promising futures, although HARDY does not yet have kids, he might have the most perfectly chiseled dad bod since Will Ferrell. Not too fit yet not too fat, he embodies the kind of male physique that typically takes years of fatherhood to achieve.
He also embraces dad fashion on tour by eschewing skinny jeans for skinny jorts and giant home-team jerseys. If he and his wife, Caleigh Ryan, add a mini-HARDY to the household, he is primed to rocket up this list.
Garth reportedly lost 50 lbs. of “soccer dad” weight when he returned to performing. But once you’ve had a dad bod, it’ll always be waiting in the shadows, like Garth in his hotel room, filming his infamously creepy Facebook video.
5. Blake Shelton
Shelton received lots of heat when he was crowned People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2017. Meanwhile, legions of paunchy dads cheered, encouraged that at least one editor of the famously shallow People Magazine had the courage to admit that the dad bod is sexy.
If only Blake could put out more country music amidst his tabloid headlines, maybe he’d be higher on this list.
Ern checks all the boxes. He’s a dad, thanks to the beautiful family he celebrated with his last single, “Takes After You.” He’s a rising country star, thanks to last year’s release of his “Flower Shops” LP and frequent collaborations with Morgan Wallen and Koe Wetzel.
And he has an enviable dad bod, thanks to this footagefrom Australia where he rips off his shirt and chugs a shooey onstage while declaring himself “a whole lotta f*ckin’ man.” Damn f*ckin’ right.
3. Luke Combs
Luke recently opened up to Joe Rogan about his struggles with his weight, an all-too-familiar topic for dads everywhere who have lost touch with their personal health while focusing on the needs of their families. And while it’s funny to celebrate the dad bod in our fitness-obsessed, Instagram model culture, the truth is that dads can be healthy at any size, as long as they’re watching their numbers and striving for the healthiest lifestyle they can.
Luke and his wife, Nicole,recently announced they’ll be having a second child. And the more kids you have, the more people are counting on you to stay healthy enough to keep making those college loan payments and to keep imparting dad wisdom deep into adulthood.
We’re all rooting for Luke as he tackles his fitness goals. And maybe he can use his platform as a country music superstar to inspire us all to make sure our dad bods are as fit as they can be.
2. Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan can be a bit of a cheeseball, and he is directly partly responsible for the Bro Country revolution that brought us Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown, and your co-worker who likes country music now because that’s what the hot chicks are listening to, bro.
But as Luke grows older and thicker, he’s also grown into (dare I say) a lovable cheeseball. His songs have always been a little lame, but they’re also a little too catchy.
And the gross, hip-thrusting bravado he led with back in the early aughts is now seasoned with a healthy dose of dad bod-inspired irony.
Luke Bryan isn’t too country anymore, but his sold-out commitment to the dad bod lifestyle is enough to keep him near the top of this list. Keep dancing, Luke.
1. Jon Pardi
The newly crowned member of the Grand Ole Opry has been teasing elite dad-status for a while. He’s always had the build, the semi-serious demeanor, and the traditional country music sensibility required for those who aspire to be the King of Dad Bod Country.
And last year, Jon Pardi made it official with the birth of his daughter, Presley, with his continued commitment to wiggling his hipsaround on-stage while wearing pants that used to fit a little bit better back in his 20’s, and with his irresistible likeability.
When Alan Jackson appeared on-screen at Stagecoach this year to welcome Pardi to the Opry family, you could sense universal approval. Whether you were a stubborn, committed adherent to the traditional country music sound, a radio-addicted automaton turned-on by Pardi’s widespread commercial appeal, or a good-timing dad who finally saw someone onstage who looked like him, everyone loved Pardi.
He’s the Dad Bod King of Country Music, and it’s not even close.