The country star talks about fatherhood, his favorite music – and his reputation as a practical joker
Fresh from winning three CMT Awards, including best male vocal performance, and scoring his 14th No. 1 country hit with “Then,” Brad Paisley took time to answer questions from PEOPLE readers.
The country star, who begins his summer tour for his eighth album, American Saturday Night (due June 30), was happy to chat with PEOPLE’s Kay West about his actress wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley, his hidden talent and his love of huevos rancheros.
What songs are in your iPod? – KERRI D., Fort Wayne, Ind.
Paisley: I’ve got Coldplay’s Viva La Vida. John Mayer’s live album. Patti Griffin’s latest. I’ve got Bare Naked Ladies’ Snacktime, which is their children’s album. Huck and I really like “789.” You know, “seven ate nine”? I use that in emergencies. If he gets irritated, I put the headphones on him and let him listen to “789.” Works every time.
If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? – BRIANNA, Albany, NY
Paisley: Brianna, you’re asking a guy who already does pretty much what I want 24 hours a day! But if money were no object, I’d get a private jet and start with breakfast in Texas for huevos rancheros. Then I’d fly to Chicago for deep-dish pizza. Back on the jet to New York City where I’d have a slice, see the dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History to, and walk around the city. Next, I’d hop down to Baltimore for a seafood dinner, then fly to wherever someone like the Eagles or Coldplay or Springsteen was playing and finish the day with a great concert.
Brad, you have a reputation for being a practical joker. Discuss. – CHERYL, Melbourne, Fla.
Paisley: When you’re on the road, it can get pretty boring. It makes me think of the British version of The Office. It’s kind of a daily grind. Pranking is one way to battle that boredom. I have a great crew that has really helped my pranking reputation. They’ll say, “You know, Saturday is Rodney Atkins last day on tour. Can we talk about some ideas we have?” I get credit for being smarter than I am about it.
Your wife seems to have a great sense of humor too. What was the best prank she’s pulled on you? – PATTI JIMINEZ, Winters, Calif.
Paisley: My wife has a great sense of humor, Patti, but it’s different than mine. It’s much smarter and more mature. She doesn’t like to make people uncomfortable so she doesn’t like pranking. So she’ll teach Huck how to do something that will make me laugh, or dress him in something hilarious, then send him to find me knowing he’ll crack me up.
Anyone who has seen you in concert knows that you draw caricatures of you and your band. Do you have any more hidden talents? – DANIELLE POPE, Glendale, Az.
Paisley: I can definitely run heavy equipment! If I do say so myself, I’m pretty good at excavating. Huck really likes it too.
Is Huck following in your footsteps and wanting to ‘jam out,’ as my son puts it? – SARAH TERRAZAS, Santa Fe, NM
Paisley: Huck seems to be very interested in music, but he’s interested in a lot of things. There’s a song on my new album, “Anything Like Me,” where he sings the last words. He has this great expression of his own and the line is, “Daddy, I did good.” Ultimately though, Huck will do what he wants to do, whatever that is.
For more of Brad – including why he wears a white cowboy hat, his favorite chore and his stance on eyebrow grooming – check out this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday