Brad Paisley, the proud papa of three-year-old Huck and one-year-old Jasper, says he may soon forget what it was like not being a father. "You feel like what you've done up until now is to prepare yourself for this, and that starts to be a memory that you associate with your kids. So, I can see how eventually, I won't be able to remember who I was before, because it does change you. It's already changed me a little bit, and it'll change me more with every heart attack [they] give me!"
Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus says his father told him "to be the lead singer because they got all the attention and all the women. And I wished I would've listened to my father now." The Flatts real lead singer Gary LeVox says his dad's advice was: "Never eat yellow snow." Jay adds, "Liquor before beer, never fear. Beer before liquor, never sicker. That's what my dad taught me, and I've followed that to a T." That was pretty normal advice with the way the guys grew up. "All our dads have always played honky-tonks, so we've always gotten [that] kind of guidance in our life," explains Gary.
Carrie Underwood knows her dad is proud of her, even if he doesn't tell her himself. "My dad's the kind of person that most likely he'll never look at me or my sisters and say, 'Hey! I'm proud of you,' or 'You're doing a great job,' or anything like that. But I catch him watching things that he's taped of me on TV. That means a lot. I'd meet co-workers of his that used to work with him, and they'd say, 'Your dad has pictures of you all over his desk.' Proud to the world [laughs] ... not so much to me, but proud to the world."
Martina McBride says, "The basic advice that [my father] gave me and all of us kids was just to work hard. I was raised with a really strong work ethic that if you worked hard enough you could have just as good a chance to be successful as anybody else, but it wasn't going to be handed to you. He still asks me if I'm still happy. I love that. He'll say, 'Are you still having fun? Are you happy?' And I think the message in that is do what you love and love what you do and work hard at it."
Keith Urban cites his father as the reason he made it to Nashville and is doing what he loves to do. "His record collection was what got me pointed towards Nashville," says the multi-talented musician. "He drove me to the music store to buy my first guitar. He was always extremely supportive of my music, and I have a lot to to be grateful to him for. Years later, he's still married to my mum, and he's got two sons that love him. So, I think that counts for a good job." Keith actually wrote a tribute to his father, aptly titled 'Song for Dad,' which appears on his 'Golden Road' album.
Being a father himself now, Keith says he loves everything about being a dad to Sunday Rose, who will turn two in a couple of weeks. But he and wife Nicole Kidman do want to instill some core values into their daughter as she grows up. "The biggest thing for us to instill a work ethic, that's the thing that's most problematic for me -- this unwillingness to have a work ethic. The ability to access information so quickly makes people think that their ability to achieve something is also meant to be expedited, but it doesn't work that way. It's never going to work that way, and if we're going to build something solid, it's going to be built slowly, step-by-step-by-step ... and there's nothing sweeter than having to work for something. It's a tremendous feeling."
Alan Jackson hopes his three daughters would say that he was fun and had a sense of humor. "I'm not just some serious dad, and I talk to them. If they're dating some boy, and I want to know what's going on, I'll ask them. I tell them, 'Me and your mom were dating when we were 17, and I know what's going on!'" When Alan was a boy, he says his father never really talked to him, but rather showed him by example. "My daddy never said much, and he never really gave much advice. He just kind of lived it for you, and I've always said that if my parents did anything good for us, it was unintentional, but they left you alone to make your own way but guide you in the right way ... instead of a parent that's pushing you one way or another. They allowed you to do what you wanted to do and supported you."
Dierks Bentley is very grateful to his own father for turning him on to country music as a kid. "My dad is my biggest influence in country music because my dad loved country radio," states the proud father of Evie, who's nearly two years old. "We always drove around listening to country radio -- George Strait, Hank Williams and Randy Travis and all these guys. So, without him, I wouldn't be doing this, that's for sure."
Tim McGraw says family comes before his career. "You don't balance them," he says emphatically. "If you try to balance it, you're fighting a losing battle. I mean, it really isn't a balance. You've got to put your family first and try to do everything you can that way. Whatever's left over can go to your career or whatever else. Your priority list gets a whole lot smaller when you have a family."
Blake Shelton is another who learned by example from his father. "My dad was real good just teaching me patience. He's always been a very patient guy whether it's in business or with women or whatever. He picks the right battles, and I've always admired that about him. My dad has been a rock for my family, since my beginning. He still is that rock, even though my parents aren't married anymore. He's still the person that holds the entire circle together."
Joe Nichols is preparing his nearly teenage daughter, Ashelynn, for the future by teaching her respect now. "Respect for men and respect from men -- I think that's probably going to be the most important influence I can have on her as she grows up. If I show her respect and love, she will look for that in a man later on, rather than the opposite. And that's my job to show her that a man figure in your life can be loving and trusted, and I think that's important. One day, she's going to marry a good man."
Jack Ingram feels he is a father and being a musician is what he does. "Having three kids and being involved with their life on as much of a day-to-day basis as I can be, it creates much more of an atmosphere in my life -- this music business is what I do, and my family is who I am, and that's really what it's done for me. It's created a grand divide and given me levity. This is fun, and I love doing it and it's important because it provides for my family. That's my life -- those kids and my wife, that's who I am!"
Blaine Larsen is the father of Zoe, his two-year-old daughter who is the spitting image of the young singer-songwriter. He says the best thing about being a dad is the love you receive from your child. "The best thing is when I get home and she runs over and gives me a hug and says, 'Daddy,' and she says, 'I love you, Daddy,' and she gives me a kiss -- that's the highlight right now."
Next: Reba, Darius + More Talk Father's Day