Brad Paisley: I'm Teaching My Sons to Earn Things in Life

The singer opens up about sons Huck and Jasper – and lessons from last year's controversy


Brad Paisley has spent some time in Hollywood lately – on ABC’s singing competition Rising Star and with guest spots on sitcoms like Two and a Half Men – but his idea of a good time remains decidedly down-home, he tells PEOPLE Country. His perfect night? Barbecue take-out with his family in Tennessee, followed by a bike ride with his sons (though Dad rides a skateboard).

Paisley, 41, admits there’s nothing everyday about his family’s 87-acre spread, but says he and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, are focused on keeping boys Huck, 7, and Jasper, 5, grounded.

“Not once have we been in a toy store and I’ve said, ‘Yeah, I’ll get you that,'” he says. “We try to make them understand that nothing is free and they have to earn things.”

The singer, who released his new album Moonshine in the Trunk last month, learned his own lessons in 2013 after his song "Accidental Racist," a duet with LL Cool J that he says was meant to “do good, to start a conversation,” instead caused a firestorm of controversy. The criticism was “rough,” he says. “But you can’t listen to one song and say, ‘That’s who he is.'”

For more on Brad and other country stars, download the enhanced digital issue of PEOPLE Country in the Apple iTunes store. Or if you’d like PEOPLE Country delivered as part of your PEOPLE subscription, go to, login to your account and click the PEOPLE Country Bonus Content offer in the section marked Special Offers on the left.

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