Benton Blount: Nothing beats being a dad
Last summer, Greenville musician Benton Blount, 36, gained national attention when he made it to the finals on the 10th season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” The TV show highlighted the fact Blount was a stay-at-home dad, winning him new fans.
Blount said every performer on the show had an interesting back story, and being a stay-at-home father simply happened to be his.
“Reality television’s goal is to make it interesting to watch, and there were other people on the show doing all kinds of different things to make their stories sound better,” he said. “With mine, I didn’t have to make up anything. That’s just how it was.”
Blount and his wife, Ashley, are parents to a son, Jaxon, 3, and a daughter, Brooklyn, who is only 2 months old. He called his daughter’s birth a blessing.
“We found out we were pregnant the night before the finale,” he said.
Although Blount didn’t win the television competition, it has helped his career. He’s still in demand, playing concerts across the country, and he’s released an album of his favorite songs.
He said he typically travels to perform shows on the weekends, usually leaving on a Thursday at the earliest and returning on Sunday, allowing him to stay at home with his children while his wife works during the week.
“The show was a game changer for me and my family,” he said. “It was the first time my family had to be a big part of my career. Believe it or not, we’re a fairly private family. When I play shows, that’s my work. When I’m home, I’m focused on them. The TV show was the first time that some of my fans for years got introduced to them and got to know them. It made the fans I had even bigger fans of mine because they got to know me better, and it opened the door for people to get to see the side of an artist they don’t normally get to see.”
He credits his wife for her support, helping him to pursue his music career so that he doesn’t feel like he neglects his family.
“It’s one of those things I worried about when I got into music,” he said. “We’re on the road a lot trying to make a living, and it makes you think you won’t spend as much time with your kids, but it works out for me. I do travel on the weekend, but I still spend more time with my kids than most fathers do who work 9-to-5 jobs.”
He said communication is an important part of parenting, especially when traveling as much as he does. Even though he won’t get to spend Father’s Day with his family — he’ll be performing at a special movie premiere in Florida — he doesn’t take his role as a father for granted.
“Being a dad is a blessing,” he said. “You hear all of these stories from people about your life changing and how everything will be different when you have kids, and they make it sound like a crazy, horrible thing. Even with my crazy schedule, everything about being a dad is a blessing. It’s never been a struggle.”