Is “Glee’s” Chord Overstreet related to country musician Paul Overstreet?
–Kelsey Jones, Phoenix, Ariz.
Good catch! Chord, 24, was born and raised in Nashville, Tenn., and his father is Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Paul Overstreet, while mom is make-up artist Julie Miller. The couple named their son Chord after the musical term.
Chord’s older brother Nash is also a musician, playing guitar in the band Hot Chelle Rae. With so many musical influences, Chord began playing the mandolin before he even reached double digits. He also plays drums, flute, piano and guitar, and sings.
In fact, for his first audition for the role of Sam Evans on “Glee,” he performed an original country song that he wrote, in addition to the better known songs “Easy” by the Commodores and Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want To Be.”
Overstreet originally had hoped for a career in sports, but he ruptured his ACL his senior year in high school playing football. That put the kibosh on his hopes of playing baseball in college and turned him toward music.
“I was sitting on the couch, I had my knee up, playing video games and my dad came in and said, ‘Turn that damn game off and write a song.’ That was when I started getting more serious about writing.”
In addition to his father’s music, which includes the No. 1 Randy Travis songs “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “On the Other Hand,” Overstreet loves “any country old stuff,” including Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, George Strait, George Jones and Willie Nelson.
With music and sports taking up the majority of his time—as well as a little modeling for Gap and Famous Footwear—Overstreet didn’t begin acting until age 19. Prior to “Glee,” his first roles were on the cable series “iCarly” and in the feature films “The Hole” and “A Warrior’s Heart.”
“When I started acting, I fell in love with it,” Overstreet says. “It’s so fun to do. I get such a break from reality getting to step into different characters. I don’t know what the future holds. I could go into just acting, but, hopefully, I can do both acting and music. It’s interesting how everything played out because one thing led to another. I could have easily been in college playing baseball and never gone into entertainment.”