Hot 20 Spotlights Charlie Worsham’s Follow Your Heart Scholarship

Charlie Worsham already loves his job, but he counts his work with his Follow Your Heart scholarship as life’s most rewarding causes.

Established in 2016 through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the initiative supports youths in his home county of Granada, Miss. with passions to pursue careers in the arts. CMT Hot 20 Countdown followed Worsham recently when he returned to Grenada for the scholarship’s annual fundraiser, and all the action from the event will be featured on an all-new Hot 20 episode airing Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 5-6) at 9 a.m. ET.

“The kids I’ve come to know in these programs remind me of me at that age,” Worsham tells “It means everything. To those kids, the program means hope and an invitation to a bigger world. To be a part of it all takes me back to the original joy I found in music.”

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Worsham adds it’s impossible to tear him apart from the influence of all the great music from his home state.

“Everything I do has that blues edge and that specific twang that comes from both the Delta and Hill Country regions of the state,” he says. “It’s in my songwriting from all the larger-than-life characters that raised me up over the years. And there’s something to be said for leaving Mississippi and learning to wrestle with the complex history of that place as I travel the world and find a way to represent what I’m proud of and try to reconcile what needs mending at the same time.”

Learn how to support the Follow Your Heart program through the CMT One Country website.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.