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Rodney Atkins Pauses for Son’s Birthday Celebration

Rodney Atkins and Family
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Rodney Atkins has big plans for today, and it has nothing to do with his sixth No. 1 single, ‘Take a Back Road,’ which is still on top of the charts. Atkins and his wife Tammy Jo plan to spend the day celebrating son Elijah’s 10th birthday.

While talking about his latest music and tour earlier this week, Atkins’ voice swelled with parental pride while mentioning Elijah, who loves traveling with his dad. Elijah inspired some lump-in-your-throat moments when he joined his dad on tour, including fretting that the tooth fairy couldn’t catch up with the tour bus. Indeed, the tooth fairy did visit a younger Elijah there.

“He just knocks me out in so many ways. Elijah is an amazing kid,” Rodney tells Taste of Country. “For example, we were at a show the day before Father’s Day. He came out onstage and brought me this Father’s Day card. When you opened it, it played ‘Been watching you daddy, ain’t that cool … I want to be just like you.’ He was so proud of the card … It was like gold. It was amazing.”

After the show, Atkins met a young boy who was part of the Make a Wish program.

“His wish was, and this still blows my mind, to meet me. He had come from the hospital and had a helmet on. I don’t know how long he had left,” says Atkins. “Elijah was there and said to him, ‘Do you want a Gatorade? Do you want a popsicle? We have a freezer here under the bus.'”

The young boy accepted the treats as he told Atkins that his father couldn’t attend the show that night because he was working. When Atkins asked the boy if he had made his dad a Father’s Day card, the boy shook his head.

“He said, ‘No. I’ve been sick. I’ve been in the hospital. I haven’t been able to,'” says Atkins, who then noticed Elijah get back on the tour bus and return a few seconds later.

“He had the card he was so proud he had given me, and said, ‘Here. Give this to your dad,'” said Atkins. “He does stuff like that all the time. He gets it that the world is not about [the status] you have at the time, but it’s about touching other folks.”


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