Ethan Payne is a 17-year old Georgia-born and raised singer/songwriter whose belief in “living life to the fullest” is best exemplified by his honest storytelling-style of country music. Growing up in Macon, GA, Ethan began playing guitar at the age of 8 after receiving the instrument as a Christmas gift from his maternal grandmother.
At the age of 13, the young artist was called on stage at a concert in Dallas, TX by his musical idol and mentor, country music superstar Luke Bryan. The two began a casual friendship that night in 2016 which still lasts to this day. The impromptu and well-received performance in a packed arena in front of over 50,000 fans became the catalyst for numerous live performance opportunities that followed for the young singer, and Ethan has since opened shows for country/bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and country stars Suzy Bogguss, Mark Wills and numerous other established artists in various genres. In late 2019, Ethan was invited to perform at the historic Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree in Nashville (the second oldest radio show in America following the Grand Ole Opry) as a guest of hit songwriter Bobby Tomberlin.
Growing up in the same region that gave birth to the legendary Otis Redding, Ethan drew inspiration from acts as diverse as Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton and Chris Young…ultimately writing his first song at the age of 14, the wise-beyond-his years “Back In Time”. A self-described “old soul”, Ethan was diagnosed at the age of 18 months with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs. Through sheer determination and a disciplined work ethic, and with the support of family, friends and musical mentors, Ethan has chosen to push through, following his passion and encouraging others to do the same regardless of any perceived boundaries or obstacles. He currently serves as an ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and volunteers his time and story to help raise funds for other children with life-threatening illnesses to help have their wishes granted.
Ethan Payne has been nominated for 3 years in a row (2017, 2018 and 2019) for Georgia Country Teen Artist of the Year at the Georgia Country Music Awards. He appeared on the 17th season of American Idol on ABC-TV in the spring of 2019, where he reunited with Luke Bryan to perform a rendition of the Bryan hit “Do I”. He has since been making regular trips to Nashville and co-writing songs with hit songwriters for his upcoming album project.
Ethan Payne's first post-American Idol single, "The Moon Over Georgia", was released on January 31, 2020 on all music streaming platforms, with "Luke's Guitar" (a song the young artist wrote to commemorate the guitar that was gifted to him by Bryan that night in Dallas in 2016) arriving March 27, 2020. A full-length CD project is scheduled for release in the summer of 2020.