While visiting New York City, Tyler Hubbard and his family had the opportunity to meet a few firefighters and learn about what they do on a daily basis. In doing so, he met James Dowell, FDNY Rescue 2 from Brooklyn. Hubbard gave a shoutout to James during his album release show in NYC, and shared a bit about the inspiring story that prompted him to perform “Miss My Daddy,” a personal song off his recently-released self-titled album.
This special moment during the show was filmed and posted to social media with photos that gave his followers a better understanding of why this story meant so much to him.
“He took us, my family, to the fire station. We got to meet a bunch of heroes and hang out on fire trucks, and wear helmets, turn on lights and all that fun stuff that 3-year-olds love to do,” the country star told the crowd. “After that, he took us to the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero and we got to walk around there and hear his story. He had a dad who seemed like an incredible, incredible guy. He lost his life fighting as a firefighter on 9/11 at the World Trades Center.”
After sharing the tragedy of how James’ dad passed away, Hubbard began to open up about his own experience with losing his dad at a young age.
“I just connected with him, we only knew each other for a day, but I felt like he was a brother, and we could relate,” he continued. “I lost my dad when I was 20, about 15 years ago, and I just related, man. That story, your story, meant so much to me, and sharing your time, honoring your dad the way that you did, it just touched me, it moved me.”
Then, Hubbard told the audience that he felt so moved, he decided he would finally play a song that holds a tremendous amount of weight in his life. Hearing everything James has gone through and overcome motivated Hubbard to showcase “Miss My Daddy” live for the very first time.
“I wasn’t gonna play this song tonight, I’ve never really played it to be honest, in front of a crowd, but this is a special part of my story as well, and this is how I honor my dad. I wrote a song about him and I wrote a song from my heart about how I felt in the current moment and how I feel pretty often. So, I want to share that with you guys tonight as an opportunity to pay honor to my dad in the way that James has inspired me to do.”
Many users took to the comment section to commend the “5 Foot 9” singer for opening up about this song and revealing how it touches those who have also lost someone close to them. During a recent interview on Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen, he shared a glimpse into the writing process behind the personal track.
“I wrote that song, sitting on a bus, by myself as, sort of, a therapeutic experience for me and just to express my emotions and what I was feeling and get it out on the guitar and on this piece of paper. And I had a friend that lost her dad earlier that week,” he explained. “And so, I was just really kind of hurting for her and then it was bringing back emotions for me of missing my dad and losing him, when I was 20. And I was just having a heavy night.”
Hubbard continued, “I was alone, which is pretty rare, and I was in quarantine with COVID, so I had spent some time alone and just me and my guitar, and that’s where that song was born… I thought that song would never see the light of day.”
On January 27, Tyler Hubbard released this song as a track on his debut album as a solo artist. This marked a major milestone in his career, which he has spent the last year reinventing after his time with Florida Georgia Line came to an end.
Produced by Hubbard and Jordan Schmidt, the 18-track project features fan-favorite tracks including “Baby Gets Her Lovin’,” “Dancin’ In The Country,” “Way Home,” and “35s.”
Since coming off his time on the road with Keith Urban, Tyler Hubbard has yet to announce any touring plans for the year. However, he does have a slew of festivals and individual performances lined up. He is next slated to appear at Boots in the Park in Bakersfield, CA on March 23.
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