God, family and a respect for others is the key to this Nashville family‘s heart and soul.
Troy Gentry, half of the award-winning duo Montgomery Gentry, is a big guy with a big voice who sings about hillbillies, honky tonks and Harleys. Thanks to CMA and ACM awards, more than 20 charted singles and five number one hits, Montgomery Gentry has millions of fans. But as we talked about parenthood, Troy’s biggest fan, 7-year-old daughter Kaylee, a smiling, gregarious first grader, sat across her daddy’s shoulders and rested her cheek on the top of his head. Like the theme of his number one smash hit, “Something To Be Proud Of,” Gentry and his wife, Angie, have built a life they say centers around “God, family and respect for others.” Gentry is also an avid supporter of the Make a Wish Foundation.
What kind of outings do you take together as a family in Nashville?
Troy: We enjoy the outdoors together. We hike, fish, ride horses and spend time in the woods.
Angie: We enjoy the ballet and the theater. We’ve been to art exhibits at the Frist. And Kaylee loves the Adventure Science Center and the Nashville Zoo.
Why have you chosen to support the Make a Wish Foundation?
Troy: Country music artists have always been good about giving back. And as the father of a healthy family, I really liked what Make a Wish does for seriously ill kids.
Angie: When we meet the parents of these sick children, my heart bleeds for their suffering. We want to give them some kind of joy and something to look forward to.
What has been your biggest parenting hurdle to date?
Troy: Not being stricter about Kaylee’s eating habits. When she was little, she’d eat anything you put in front of her. As she got older, we let her choose, so now she’ll only eat mac and cheese, pizza, fries, chicken fingers and pasta.
Angie: I’m the big softie on that one. I can’t send her to bed hungry. She has to have something to eat!
Do you keep in touch with Kaylee when you’re touring?
Troy: She’s been on the tour bus with me since she was born. When she was a baby we took a Pack-N-Play. Then she graduated to a trundle bed. Now we all share a big bed in back. She helps with guitars when it’s time to perform.
How has becoming a parent changed you as a person?
Troy: I’ve grown up. I’m more responsible now. Before children, the social scene was more important to me. Now I’d rather be home with my family than out all night. Angie and I have date nights, of course. But I travel a lot for work, so I find comfort here at home.
How did Kaylee get her name?
Troy: Angie’s middle name is Kay and my middle name is Lee. She’s a mixture of both of us.
Angie: But she’s more like Troy. She can’t sit still. She’s very social. And she loves to perform.
Do you think your daughter will follow in your footsteps?
Troy: A lot of kids growing up and seeing their moms and dads in the music industry tend to want to do something musical, too. But I started out playing in bars and clubs, and I hope she doesn’t have to go through that. I’ll leave it up to her, though. If that’s her dream, I’ll encourage and support her.
Deborah Bohn is a local mom, writer and fitness expert. She is a frequent contributor to this publication.