Rodney Atkins returns home to headline the Boomsday after party

(WBIR) He's a hometown boy raised in East Tennessee and a chart topping country artist.

Rodney Atkins came back home to play a show he has wanted to play his whole life.

"This is bucket list stuff here to get to be a part of," said Atkins.

Growing up, Atkins said he had only two posters hanging in his room.

"One was Farrah Faucet, the other was Johnny Majors that said 'Follow me to Tennessee,'" Atkins said.

A Vols fan on the open road claims he bleeds orange. Atkins grew up a Vols football fan and playing Boomsday on a game day weekend is important.

Related: Boomsday brings hundreds of thousands of people to Knoxville

"No one wears this color because it's flattering. It's because we love the Vols," said Atkins.

Over the years he gained more and more popularity including 6 billboard number one hits inspired by the tales of his life in East Tennessee.

"It's cool to get to go around the world and sing "These are my People" and for me, this is what I am singing about... This place," said Atkins.

One example, the song "Watching You" is written about him and his father.

"It actually came from one time we were going to a flea market when I was a kid over in Tazewell and somebody cut him off in the car and I remember asking him, 'why are you telling him they are number one, dad?' you know," said Atkins.

Inspiration in the valley helped him travel the world to sing these stories. And after everything he has been, it's helped him make his way to this spot.

Ahead of Saturday night's show he only had two words to say:

"Go Vols."

The concert was held at Thompson Boling Arena following the Boomsday fireworks.


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