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J.D. Shelburne

Country Music Artist (touring)


Telecommunications (now Media Arts and Studies)

Year Graduated: 



Taylorsville, KY

Current City: 

Nashville, TN

Current Employer: 

Country Music Artist (touring)

Top played song on your playlist?: 

MY song – Hometown!

Where has your CI degree taken you?: 

My degree has taken me everywhere I have wanted to go.  My music career path post-graduation is not your standard way out of college into the real world.  While in college I discovered an acoustic guitar that belonged to my grandmother soon after her death. While in college (2002) I begin to learn how to play/sing and quickly developed a passion for music without any prior background experience. A year later, I started to promote myself and book shows on a weekly basis which helped me gain a tremendous amount of popularity throughout the Commonwealth. Over the next several years, I began to play on some of country music’s biggest stages with some of the nation’s hottest stars! Throughout the course of booking shows and job hunting post-graduation, I begin to slowly look into moving to Nashville to chase my dreams. That was in February of 2008 and I haven’t looked back since! Since my move to Nashville with my degree in hand, I have performed with over 50 National acts, appeared in Country Weekly Magazine, Kentucky Monthly Magazine, Huffington Post and hundreds of other articles, garnered a #1 appearance as the most trending artist in 2015/early 2016, a video add to GAC – Great American Country, been featured nationwide at events for NASCAR, NBA, NCAA, MLB, SEC and more! I have been on the ride of my life since graduation.  I appreciate UK helping me reach my goals and making my dreams a reality.

What is your favorite thing about your job?: 

Sharing new songs with fans, meeting fans, sharing my story as a role model with kids and performing LIVE.

What¹s the most valuable thing you learned in CI?: 

In CI I learned the aspects of how to talk with people, how to run a successful business and how to maintain work/life, all while chasing a dream at the same time. In the music business, we cater to fans that purchase our music and come to the shows, etc – developing relationships and building successful growth models are important. I learned how to reach my goals and impact the younger generation while teaching them the same - to become a leader in their communities. That is important to me.

What advice would you give to current CI students?: 

Stay in school and get an education first! No matter what your friends do or if you have distractions in school that keep you from class or obtaining a credit you need. I made sure I had a college degree that I could fall back on if music never worked out. Luckily, music has worked for me and I am having the time of my life. My parents encouraged me to stay in school just in case and I am so glad I listened. I love to see that degree in my office on the wall…each time I am at work booking shows or reviewing contacts.  I am proud of the degree and my relationship with the University of Kentucky!

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