Music Star Jake Owen
By Megan Hyde
> In June, we pay thorough attention to all things men and celebrate intently here at Orlando Style. There is one thing to be said about male musicians especially; they sure know how to keep an audience’s attention! Since the days of Elvis being “too provocative” and getting censored from the waist down to the way Bon Jovi has consistently amped up crowds for a few generations, you just can’t help but appreciate the talent, the raw emotion, and yes of course the often good looks of these fellows. One gent in particular is steadily earning a solid name in the business and has all of the previously mentioned qualities to contribute. Rising country music star Jake Owen has a humble, charming, manly and rugged appeal. Whether he’s rocking out with his party anthem hits or causing a swooning effect with his love ballads, one thing is constant: people everywhere love this guy. Having been in the mainstream spotlight since around 2005, Jake is certainly a leader in generating amazing, catchy music. It’s absolutely safe to say this Florida native has arrived for the rest of the world to love.
Born in 1981 not far from The City Beautiful, Jake hails from sandy east coast town of Vero Beach. With a an early love for everything under the sun, water and sports, Jake and his fraternal twin brother kept themselves enjoying life one day at a time through a variety of activities centered on these interests. Come college time, the Owen brothers headed north to Florida State University. Although a part of the school’s golf team, with a desire to go professional in the sport, Jake’s intentions for it ended after injuring himself severely while wake boarding. Bummed out and looking for something to occupy time, Jake made a fateful move one day; he picked up a guitar, despite having one arm in a sling, and began strumming. He began to write his own music and from there a dream ignited. As time moved on, Jake realized he could dig this for a career. Pretty soon he was playing in local bars and relishing in the glory of crowds taking in his music. His journey started to become clear; just prior to graduating from college he headed to Nashville to take a chance.
Knowing it could be a long haul but certainly a fun one at the least, Jake knew he was up for the challenge. Taking risks and pushing himself has been something he’s done most of his life. He knew if he kept working feverishly and with a purpose, he would have opportunities to succeed. As long as he remembered to cherish every part, good or bad, he could stand taller. Once Jake arrived in town though, it wasn’t long before he took off. Very briefly he was a shadow amongst well-established names in the business but within less than a year, Jake had his first successful hits, “Yee Haw” and “Startin’ with Me.” These songs provoked success and suddenly fans wanted to know more about the good-looking, shaggy haired country crooner.
Three albums and numerous hit songs from each have all been a part of this entertainer’s journey so far. Having toured already with musical greats like Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney and Sugarland, Jake established himself quickly as his own person with unique lyrics and a velvety smooth voice. He’s earned and maintained an audience. Realizing he did not have it as rough as other artists starting out, Jake values his climb to the top as his own journey. He knows everyone’s story is their own. One moment solidifying his success was in 2009 when Jake took home the Male Vocalist of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music. A proud moment indeed, this truly signified achievement.
Despite several tours under his belt and regardless of being summoned for many late night show stops, with each host desiring interviews and performances, Jake has definitely not forgotten where he comes from. Never mind currently being named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “30 Greatest Artists Right Now” for all genres, or being in People Country Magazine’s “Hottest Guys” issue, Jake keeps moving through his day to day life. Heading back to his Vero Beach hometown as much as he can, he has participated in local charity events and is known to stop in at local hot spots to sing a few tunes for the folks who have stood behind him from his start. One of his latest hits, “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” perfectly defines what it was like growing up in the community he did. Jake is incredibly proud of his hometown and this just may explain a lot of his success; if you don’t forget who you are, no one else will either.
As for right now, Jake is literally in a honeymoon phase of life; he recently wed model Lacey Buchanan in his hometown right on the beach. Lacey was his costar in his videos for both “8 Second Ride” and also in “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” Both natives of the sunshine state, Jake realized at a performance in Florida this past April, they would never have more of their family and friends around them and felt it was the perfect time to seal their fate together. He spontaneously proposed to Lacey without even having a ring for the moment! His video costar agreed to be his forever leading lady and although they toyed with the media about when they would be tying the knot, Jake and his bride wed in early May. Both looked fabulous and in love while fully embracing the sand beneath, and between their toes as they wed barefoot at their sunrise ceremony. Jake has no hesitation about sharing his devotion to his wife and believes she makes him a better man every day. Who doesn’t love to hear that?
With a thriving music career, a loyal and devoted fan base, and a brand new bride, how can Jake not be loving life? His most recent hit “Alone with You” currently holds the number 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Because of his prior success with “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” this makes back-to-back top charted songs for Jake from the same album. His success gives new meaning to the expression, “the hits just keep on coming!” Overall, this guy proves you can be a well-rounded individual and chase a dream even if it wasn’t your original plan. If you go for something, go full force and only look back to reflect and give thanks. <