Here’s more about Jay.
* He’s a 36-year-old Nashville-based country artist who grew up in Iowa and has already released music.
* Jay’s best known for “Blank Stares,” a song he co-wrote and released in 2017 after watching his mother struggle with Alzheimer’s.
* His mother was diagnosed at age 51, passed away in 2019 at age 54. Jay has committed to raising $100 million to fight Alzheimer’s by 2023 and is already half way there.
* He told Country Now the song was inspired by what happened when his dad brought his mother to Nashville for a visit. At first, she didn’t even recognize her son. Then they went out to listen to music and dance.
* Says Jay: “That’s when I first experienced the power of music. When we opened the door, my mom heard that music and completely lit up. That glossy look in her eyes went away.” And when they started dancing, she called him by name.
* A video of Jay performing “Blank Stares” for his mom after bringing her onstage at a show in Iowa has been viewed more than 500 million times on Facebook. And the song has more than 1.5 million streams on Spotify. After he played a snippet of it during his Voice audition, it soared into the Top 10 on Apple Music’s country singles chart.
* Jay has since released eight more singles and a pair of EPs — “The First Five” in 2017 and “Bulletproof” in 2021. His most recent release was “Whiskey Prayer,” a single that dropped in December and is “dedicated to the ones we’ve lost.” Check out the music video below.
* In the Country Now interview, Jay also credited his mom for his love of country music. When he was a child, she used to drive him around in a purple Buick LaSabre. He said he hated the car, but loved the drive “because she would crank up country radio, and we would sing every song at the top of our lungs while laughing all the way home.”
* He says his music is also influenced by his dad’s love of classic rock and rock and time he spent as a worship leader at a megachurch in Savannah, Ga.
* After working at several churches, Jay moved to Nashville in 2013. He recently posted to Instagram, celebrating the anniversary of his first publishing deal. Writes Jay: “7 years ago after moving to Nashville with nothing but a suitcase, guitar, and a marriage on the brink of divorce. It looks nothing like I thought it would, but I’m proud to say I’m still doing music for a living. Never quit on yourself.”
* Jay’s engaged to country artist Kylie Morgan and they’re set to be married in October. He recently posted a photo of her Grand Ole Opry debut.