As Dillon Carmichael continues his Son of A Tour, fans might notice something a little different about the kid from Kentucky.

He got his hair cut.

“I made the mistake of not having her measure it first, but I would say she probably took like six inches,” Carmichael tells Taste of Country in an interview. “It definitely feels weird. I mean when I shower, I'm like, ‘Where is my hair?’"

"I don't require as much shampoo anymore," he adds with a laugh.

Carmichael shared his decision to chop some of his naturally curly hair off in a January Instagram post, but had already been in some deep discussions with friends and family about the big change beforehand.

“I had to get (Shayla’s) approval,” says Carmichael of fiancée Shayla Whitson. “I also had to call my label, but they gave me their approval.”

And why did he do it?

Well, he wanted to wear a ball cap again.

“I just had too much hair and it was getting to be in real bad shape,” he says. “I had to do something.”

Chances are that some of those very same ball caps are on sale at the merchandise table of Carmichael’s headlining shows. And it’s these merch tables that still seem awfully surreal to the rising star.

“One night I hung out at the merch table after the show and this older gentleman came up and said, ‘I’ve worked at this venue for 40 years, and about 20 years ago, there was a young girl standing right there where you were standing talking to your fans,’” Carmichael recalls.

That artist was Carrie Underwood.

“For me, the merch booth is a magical spot,” says Carmichael, who kicked off his headlining tour in January in his home state of Kentucky and will return to the road this month with dates in Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana. “I get to be proud to show off my new merch, but I also love hanging out with my fans. I plan to continue to do that.”

And from all indications, he’s going to be doing that for a mighty long time, as Carmichael’s career seems to be skyrocketing at the moment on the strength of his current single, "Son of A."

“That song is really affecting people in a positive way,” he says of the song he co-wrote alongside Casey Beathard and Phil O'Donnell. “Since I've been playing it live, I’ve realized that while the storyline is about a son and a father, people are relating to much more than that.”

Top Country Songs of 2021, Ranked

You'll find much more than just the Top 10 Country Songs of 2021 on this list. Enjoy the 21 best country songs of the year, based on Taste of Country staff and country music fan opinion, plus commercial data (sales, streaming, airplay).

To be considered, the song must have been released in 2021 or have actively charted for a portion of the year (see "Wine, Beer, Whiskey"). New artists including Lainey Wilson, Larry Fleet and Morgan Wade crack the top songs list, while hitmakers including Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean and Luke Combs make the Top 10.

Let us know your favorite song of 2021 on Twitter, or email us at

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