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Stand Out Style

Country Artist JD Shelburne Shares About Fashion, Music, and Standing Out from the Crowd

For Country artist JD Shelburne, a college internship in Kentucky gave him his first look at the ins and outs of the music industry and he eventually made his way to Nashville to pursue his Country music dreams. Now residing with his wife Amy Jo and three-year-old son Jax in Mount Juliet, Shelburne is passionate about style, not only when it comes to his music, but also with the fashion he wears. 

While he’s always been interested in putting his best foot forward with his style, it was when he received his first invite to the Kentucky Derby that he decided to take his fashion game to the next level. The event was in the early days of his career, and he dove into designing his outfit as a way to get noticed at the red-carpet gala. 

Shelburne started dreaming up his own designs for a colorful, rhinestone-studded “Nudie” suit, like the kind that has been worn by Country artists throughout the history of the genre. “I had them custom designed for me and I wore one to the first Derby [I attended],” remembers Shelburne. “I literally got interviewed by David Letterman’s intern, I mean I was on every newspaper. And I did that every year and I still do it. It’s kind of become a tradition…” he says of the hand-sewn suits that have been featured in the Kentucky Derby Museum and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. For years he’s dreamed up his own designs and had specialty suits made for him and for the past two years, he’s had custom scarves made by the legendary Western wear designer and tailor Manuel Cuevas.  

This year, Shelburne wore a white jacket that was inspired by an outfit he’d seen Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts wear and had a rose-embroidered scarf made to match his wife’s pink dress. “We ended up taking the pink dress to Manuel and Manuel made the exact same floral design her dress had on my scarf. It looked so hot, I loved it…It’s a great conversation piece as an artist, people always asking where we get it. I love style for Derby. Derby’s all about style,” he says of his outfits.

The Country artist is also known to wear his red alligator cowboy boots on red carpets and carry his style over to his instruments, including his red Takamine acoustic guitar embellished with a silver cross.

Shelburne has had an exciting year as he has already played close to 100 shows since January. With the recent release of his sixth album Neon Hallelujah on July 18, he’s loved sharing his new music on tour this summer. The 14-song album is his longest album to date and even includes his own rendition of the gospel song “Amazing Grace” with the renowned Country group The Oak Ridge Boys. “[With] this album, I feel like I’ve grown as an artist,” explains Shelburne. “I feel like I’m a better singer. I’ve just got a better style of songs on this record. I’m just really excited for my fans to hear it…”