Retired NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. understands what it is like to live with a heavy heart after losing a parent. Therefore, when he heard “You Should Be Here” by Cole Swindell blast through his radio speaker – he knew he had to provide guidance to the multi-platinum artist.
“When I first heard it, you immediately connect the comparisons. He lost his dad, and I lost my dad. He wrote the song about that, it absolutely word for word fits anyone who’s ever lost their dad, that song just plugs right into all the emotions,” says Earnhardt on his podcast. “I think even after all these years – you keep doing things in life, you keep having these milestones and these things happen and these people you meet that come into your life, and you want your dad to know ‘em, meet ‘em, see ‘em, experience it… And so all the time that song remains relevant,” he adds.
After soaking in the lyrics, the NASCAR Hall of Famer decided to reach out to the artist to share how his play on words resonated with him. “I didn’t care whether he was gonna receive that well or not, I was just like ‘This is hitting me hard, and I need this man that wrote this song to know.’ So, I reached out, and he was like ‘Damn right, that’s exactly why I wrote it.’”
On Tuesday, October 19, the singer-songwriter sat down with Earnhardt to speak about his moving melody and what it has been like to cope with losing a family member on his popular podcast, The Dale Jr. Download.
Swindell revealed that he considers the heartwarming message from Earnhardt a career highlight, as Dale and his father played a vital role in his life growing up. “For you to reach out, me being a huge fan – that was one of the coolest things of my career is Dale reaching out to me, and knowing that he’s reaching out because of his dad, which my dad was a fan of, and I’m a fan of. It’s just stuff like that, you can’t make that up. That’s as real as it gets,” the “Some Habits” artist added.
Earnhardt disclosed that he reached out with a mission to help, as he knows first-hand how the grieving process works. “I wanted to give you advice. I didn’t know how to, but I felt like if you needed some holes closed up in the search for some sort of closure, I was like, ‘Man, I really could help him,’” says the podcast host.
The award-winning musician did not shy away from taking advice or speaking about his father. In fact, he is known for being transparent with his fans about his life and the hardships he has faced during his music career.
Most recently, Swindell opened up to a rowdy group of fans on the Thomas Rhett’s Center Point Road Tour. Before performing his heart-wrenching ballad, “You Should Be Here,” at the Xfinity Center in Boston, MA, on Saturday, September 18 – he dedicated the song to his mother, who recently passed away [September 13.]
“I’m not the only one whose lost someone I love. I think we all have someone we wish was here tonight. And I will always have a special connection with all of you in this whole area because I will never forget the day sitting in the parking lot at Gillette Stadium writing this song right here,” he shared before giving his late mother a shoutout.
“On Monday, I lost my mom. I’m sure a lot of you have heard. Thank you for all of the messages. Thank you for the sign. We had her service [on] Wednesday, and I flew out because Thomas Rhett said ‘hey man, take the weekend off, go to our beach house and just relax’ and I said, ‘there’s no way I’m missing being up here, being in front of a crowd like this. These people have had my back since day one, and I can promise you, my mama, she wouldn’t want me sitting at home, she would want me on stage in front of a crowd like this; people who care, people who matter,” said the chart-topping performer before the stadium lit up with cell phone lights.
Swindell is currently keeping his head high out on the road with family man, Thomas Rhett. The full vulnerable interview between Earnhardt and the hitmaker is available on all streaming platforms.