Bobby Bones

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This article is about the radio host. For the musician, see Bobby Bones (musician).
Bobby Bones
Bobby Bones - iHeartRadio Theater.jpg
Bones at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York City.
Born Bobby Estell
(1980-04-02) April 2, 1980 (age 37)
Hot Springs, Arkansas, U.S.
Alma mater Henderson State University
Occupation

Radio Personality, Author, Comedian, Musician

Partner: Lindsay Ell 2016 - Present

Bobby Bones (born Bobby Estell, April 2, 1980) is an American on-air radio personality and entertainer. He is the host of the nationally syndicated weekday radio program The Bobby Bones Show, originating out WSIX-FM in Nashville, Tennessee.

Early life[edit]

Bobby Estell (aka Bobby Bones) was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to Pamela Hurt. His mother became pregnant at age 15 and his father was 17.[1] He was raised in the small community of Mountain Pine, Arkansas, by his mother and maternal grandmother. His biological father was with him until the age of 5, but then disappeared.[2] Bobby began dreaming of a radio career around the age of 5 or 6.[3] Bones grew up poor in a trailer park, and often viewed radio as a ticket out of poverty.[2] Bones began his radio career at age 17 at the campus station of Henderson State University, KSWH-FM 91.1. He graduated with a B.A. in Radio/Television from Henderson in 2002.

Career[edit]

Early professional career[edit]

While still in college, Bones went to work as a station hand at KLAZ 105.9 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, but was put on the air within a few days of being hired. A manager there gave him the choice of going on the air as Bobby Z or Bobby Bones.[3] In 2002, Bones was hired by Q100/KQAR in Little Rock, Arkansas. While there, he broke into another radio station (ALICE 107.7), which led to his next job in Austin, Texas, to begin hosting The Bobby Bones Show on 96.7 KISS FM.

Bones’s first full-time radio contract paid him $17,000

Austin[edit]

Bones was originally hired for the evening shift on KHFI (96.7 KISS FM) and moved to the morning drive shortly thereafter. While in Austin, he met two of his future co-hosts, Lunchbox (in a bar) and Amy (in a radio cohost contest after Jill left. He first hired Sarah *who was in the industry and picked to be part of the show* then decided Amy would be a better fit.). Neither had radio experience when Bones put them on the air.[4] His executive producer, Alayna, was previously an intern on the show.

Over ten years, the show built its audience into the top-rated morning show in Austin[5] and was syndicated in a few regional markets. At the height of his popularity, Bones was offered a job outside of radio but ultimately chose to remain with Clear Channel.[6]

Nashville[edit]

In the fall of 2012, Clear Channel moved Bones and his show from Austin and its Top 40 format to Nashville and a country music format while taking The Bobby Bones Show nationwide.[4] Bones took over the slot hosted by longtime DJ Gerry House,[7] who retired in 2010. Bones now broadcasts from WSIX-FM in Nashville on weekday mornings from 5 to 10am (CT). His co-hosts are Lunchbox and Amy, and features Ray, Eddie, Nada, Morgan, and Mike D. Michael Bryan is the program director.

The Bobby Bones Show has become a regular interview stop for top country music stars,[8] including Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, and The Band Perry.

On air, Bones and his co-hosts break the country radio mold with a mix of pop-culture news and information. As Bones noted in one interview, "I'm not a cowboy. I don't wear a belt buckle, or I don't have those traditional old school country music radio elements about me. But from where I grew up and how I grew up, country music has always been the fabric of the music that I've listened to."[9]

In 2016, Bones admitted spending $13,000 on Nashville billboards in 2013 which stated "GO AWAY BOBBY BONES" as a PR campaign to garner sympathy.[10]

Syndication[edit]

In February 2013, The Bobby Bones Show went into national syndication with Premiere Networks (owned by Clear Channel)[11] and was made available via iHeartRadio.com and the iHeartRadio mobile app. The show launched with 35 stations and is currently carried by 68 FM radio stations in the U.S.[12] It is regarded as central to Clear Channel’s partnership with Country Music Television in what’s been termed a “country music media arms race.”[6] According to Clear Channel Radio, which owns WSIX-FM, the show is the number one-rated morning show in Austin, Texas; Wichita, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; and Lubbock, Texas.

Nationally, The Bobby Bones Show is the biggest country music morning show in the country, with an estimated audience of nearly 3 million listeners. The show’s largest market is Washington, D.C., where WMZQ airs it weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m.[13]

Bones also hosts the weekly Country Top 30 with Bobby Bones carried on over 100 radio stations.[14]

As part of the Clear Channel organization, Bones was tapped to host the inaugural iHeartRadio Country Music Festival held in Austin, Texas, in 2014.[15] He presented the award for Country Song of the Year at the first iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles.[16]

Other media[edit]

Bones appeared in the 2009 feature film, Bandslam, with Vanessa Hudgens. He has also appeared on the ABC drama Nashville and has been a guest host with Kelly Ripa on Live! with Regis and Kelly.[17]

Since 2012, Bones has been part of the Fox Sports Radio lineup, hosting the weekend sports talk program Roddick and Bones with tennis star Andy Roddick, airing Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. Eastern Time on nearly 300 radio stations across the U.S.[18]

On May 17, 2016, he released his first book entitled Bare Bones, I'm Not Lonely If You're Reading This Book.[19] Much to his surprise, the book skyrocketed the charts and became a New York Times Best Seller.

Public profile, controversies and acclaim[edit]

Bones is regarded as a different sort of radio DJ. “Without that classic, booming radio DJ voice,” as the Washington Post led in a profile.[20] “He wishes he had it - he tried to fake it - but it never quite worked out.” Bones is known for conducting unscripted interviews, and his willingness to discuss any aspect of his life and work on the air.

Bones, along with his on-air crew, is active with multiple charities.[21] In partnership with TEEMHaiti Foundation and Numana Inc., he and co-host Amy created 30 Abes,[22] a Haitian hunger-relief organization. On September 28, 2013, volunteers broke a Guinness World Record with 530,064 meals packed in 45 minutes.[23] Bones was inspired mainly to do hunger-relief as one of his philanthropic activities, because he grew up in a family that was eligible for food stamps.[23]

Bones has also come under fire for 'not being country enough,'[24] but makes a point of reading scathing posts and tweets to his audience and argues for the rights of his detractors to criticize him.

Bones then became under fire once again, when he accidentally triggered the Emergency Alert System's national alert to thousands of AT&T U-verse customers.[25]

In May 2015, Bones' employer iHeartMedia was fined $1 million by the Federal Communications Commission for transmitting fake emergency alerts during "The Bobby Bones Show." [26]

Personal life[edit]

Bones makes a point of declaring his devotion as a dog lover and pit bull terrier advocate and owner of a pit bull named Dusty. Dusty is also the only living thing Bobby has ever said, "I love you" to.

He had a year-long relationship with Rachel Reinert from the country music group Gloriana. Bones has been working in on-air radio since age 17 and now hosts a nationally syndicated weekday radio program.

On October 26, 2016, Bones is in a relationship with Lindsay Ell according to a post on Bones' personal Instagram.

Politics[edit]

On January 3, 2017, Bones announced he was considering a run for governor of Arkansas in the 2018 election.[27]

Awards and honors[edit]

For four years running, from 2004 to 2008, Bones was named Best Radio Personality by the Austin Music Awards, presented by The Austin Chronicle and SXSW. The Bobby Bones Show also won Best Radio Program 2007-2008.[28] On April 6, 2014, Bones, Amy and Lunchbox won their first Academy of Country Music Award for National On-Air Personality of the Year, just nine months into Bones’s first year in country music.[29]

Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
US Country
[30]
US
[31]
US Comedy
[32]
US
Indie

[33]
The Critics Give It 5 Stars 4 41 1 3

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
[35]
US
Kid

[36]
US
Indie

[37]
The Raging Kidiots
  • Release date: November 2, 2015
  • Label: Black River Entertainment
64 3 2

Other charted songs[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country Airplay
[38]
US Comedy Digital
[39]
2016 "We Can't Stand Each Other"
(with Carrie Underwood)
8 The Critics Give It 5 Stars
"Every Day Is a Good Day" 10
"Starbucks!" 14
"Fishin' with My Dad" 60 20
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2016 "If I Was Your Boyfriend"[40] Robert Chavers

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bobby Bones (May 19, 2016). The Bobby Bones Show (radio broadcast). iHeartMedia. Retrieved May 19, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Bobby Bones may be Regis & Kelly co-host". KXAN. January 13, 2011. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Shea, Stewart (March 23, 2014). "Mountain Pine native deals real on the radio, goes nationwide". Arkansas Online. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Shea, Stewart (March 11, 2014). "Country Radio's New Voice". Arkansas Online. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ Dinges, Gary (October 9, 2013). "Bobby Bones Austin's Top Morning Host". Austin 360. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Trigger (January 13, 2014). "Clear Channel DJ Bobby Bones May Be Looking to Leave Radio". Saving Country Music.com. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Air talent is radio's new country crossover". Inside Radio. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Bobby Bones Show". Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ Rau, Nate (September 24, 2013). "Bobby Bones pops modern sound to top of country radio". The Tennessean. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Country radio DJ Bobby Bones reveals he spent $13,000 on a hoax to win over Nashville". Washington Post. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Bobby Bones Shifts From Top 40 To Country, Launching Daily National Country Show And Weekend Countdown Show". February 23, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Bobby Bones Show Affiliates". Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and Top On-Air Radio Personality Bobby Bones Ink Long-Term Contract". Clear Channel. June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Country Top 30 with Bobby Bones". Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean & more tapped for first-ever iHeartRadio Country Festival". iHeart Radio. January 8, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Bobby Presents at iHeart Radio Awards". May 1, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Bobby Bones on Regis and Kelly". January 28, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Andy Roddick Fox Sports Live Host". May 22, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Country radio host Bobby Bones reveals how he got his name" today.com, May 18, 2016
  20. ^ Yar, Emily (March 18, 2013). "Bobby Bones, new to WMZQ, hosts a different kind of country music morning radio show". Washington Post. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Red Cross Partnering with Bobby Bones Show for Celebrity Auction". May 24, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  22. ^ "30 Abes". Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "Most Hunger Relief Meals Packaged in One Hour". Guinness Book of World Records. Guinness World Records. September 28, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  24. ^ Rau, Nate (September 24, 2013). "Bobby Bones pops modern sound to top of country radio". The Tennessean. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  25. ^ http://www.wkrn.com/story/26886059/glitch-on-bobby-bones-show-may-have-caused-u-verse-error
  26. ^ https://www.fcc.gov/document/iheart-pay-1m-misusing-eas-tones-during-bobby-bones-show
  27. ^ "Radio host Bobby Bones considering run for Ark. governor". THV11 Digital, KTHV. January 3, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Austin Music Awards". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Radio Award Winners Announced for the 49th Annual Academy of County Music Awards". Academy of Country Music. February 18, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Bobby Bones – Chart history – Country Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Bobby Bones – Chart history – Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Bobby Bones – Chart history – Comedy Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Bobby Bones – Chart history – Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  34. ^ Bjorke, Matt (April 2, 2016). "Country Album Sales Chart: April 4, 2016". Roughstock. 
  35. ^ "The Raging Idiots – Chart history – Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  36. ^ "The Raging Idiots – Chart history – Kids Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  37. ^ "The Raging Idiots – Chart history – Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  38. ^ "Bobby Bones – Chart history – Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  39. ^ "Bobby Bones – Chart history – Comedy Digital Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 3, 2016. 
  40. ^ Shelburne, Craig (February 5, 2016). "Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots Issue New Single". MusicRow. Retrieved March 29, 2016.