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How Bailey Zimmerman Charmed Nashville

Last October, he released his debut EP, “Leave the Light On,” which remains in the Top 50 of the all-genre Billboard album chart. This is owing to his success at radio, but also to Zimmerman’s relentless presence on TikTok and Instagram. He is his own best promoter, and his success underscores how even Nashville, the most hidebound of music industry towns, is increasingly powerless against the tide of social media.

Lucas said that Zimmerman’s attitude has been crucial to the speed of his success. “I love how excited he gets and how much he jumps the gun,” he said of Zimmerman’s no-brakes ascent. “I don’t think we’d be where we are today if Bailey wasn’t that enthusiastic. I know we wouldn’t.”

“The TikTok and the Instagram, me doing that every day, that is the brand, of course,” Zimmerman said. “That is the company. And now it’s like, whoa, whoa, whoa, label, hold on. I now have an avenue of my own to make me successful by myself.” That said, TikTok provides, and TikTok takes away, as seen in Zimmerman’s first true public fumble — a viral video of him singing woefully off-pitch at a recent concert. But rather than duck it, Zimmerman posted through the embarrassment, apologizing for his misstep and taking his lumps with a sense of humor and as much enthusiasm as when he posts about a new song.

“I heard a saying the other day, and I’m living by that now,” he said. “Dogs don’t bark at parked cars.”

And so he’ll keep speeding. Sometimes literally, in the white 2023 Corvette with a red interior that he bought in cash after “Fall in Love” went to No. 1 at country radio, his first splurge. (He also has an even taller truck than his old one that’s in the shop being built to spec.)

“I try to keep my sins to a limit, of course, always,” he said. “But of course, dude, I cuss every day. I drink, I smoke, I harm my temple.” And so he’s also taken to the trappings of being a star who needs to perform at a high level — vitamin IV drips, injections of the anti-inflammatory treatment N.A.D.+ and cryotherapy. He’s put both of his parents on his payroll, and is trying to encourage his uncle Brent, whose guitar Zimmerman used to practice on as a child, to become a full-time songwriter.

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