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‘Make You Happy’ Music Video Debuts With Broadcast Premiere on CMT, CMT Music, + Paramount Times Square Billboard

Delivers Independent Debut Album ‘Love Ain’t Pretty’ This Friday (26 Jan) and Returns to the UK in April

The countdown is on until the buzzed-about delivery of multi-talent Charles Esten’s independent debut album, Love Ain’t Pretty, out this Friday (26 Jan). Supercharging street week under the bright lights of New York City, Esten caught the CMT Premiere of his ‘Make You Happy’ music video in person yesterday (22 Jan), as it made its broadcast debut on CMT, CMT Music,, and the Paramount Times Square Billboard. Esten ‘Returns To His Improv Roots’ hails, as the Whose Line Is It Anyway? star acts as lead entertainer – in every sense of the word – while also serving as producer alongside director Erika Rock. Check out Esten watching the music video with his wife Patty, who’s also spotted in the “playful and energetic” clip, live from Times Square here.

Esten, whose pen is credited on all 14 songs on Love Ain’t Pretty, co-wrote ‘Make You Happy’ with Gary Burr, and Jon D’Agostino. Soaked in an irresistibly romantic and flirty desire, he offers a playful proposition with a hard to resist spirit. Produced by Marshall Altman with an upbeat mix of honky-tonk, beachy Doo-Wop and funky Soul, ‘Make You Happy’ also features a bouncy Caribbean beat and a touch of whirring organ, plus Esten’s love-drunk vocal and spirit-lifting hook. Throughout, he promises that he doesn’t want much, he just wants to make you smile. And with this release, there’s a very good chance he will.

The throughline of this album is right there in the title: ‘Love Ain’t Pretty,’” Esten shared with“Life can be hard, and there are moments when it can wear anyone down. In those times, you need strength and maybe a little more faith. So, there’s some real seriousness throughout. This song and this video say that in the midst of all of that, it’s a gift and a calling and a joy simply to make someone smile. To, even for just a little bit, with just a little silliness, be able to make them happy. If fans take nothing from this video but a smile, and maybe a laugh, that’ll be fine by me.”

Making several anticipated albums of 2024 lists including The TennesseanSTEREOGUMMen’s JournalAmerican SongwriterTaste of Country, and Wide Open CountryLove Ain’t Pretty is stacking early notable features with GRAMMY.comParade, and Cowboys & Indians, as well as being spotlighted in the High Note in Nashville Lifestyles’ The Music Issue on stands now. Esten returns to Nashville on Friday (1/26) for a SOLD-OUT album release show at Exit/In.

Find all upcoming tour dates on the Country Lowdown Gig Guide.


Multi-talent Charles Esten is a global entertainer. Best known for his roles as “Ward Cameron” on Netflix’s Outer Banks and “Deacon Claybourne” in ABC/CMT’s Nashville, the artist-songwriter introduces his independent debut album, Love Ain’t Pretty, on January 26. Surpassing 21 MILLION streams to date, Esten is a 2018 Guinness World Records title holder for the “Most consecutive weeks to release an original digital single by a music act” after delivering 54 original songs once a week for 54 straight weeks. He’s made nearly 170 appearances at Nashville’s iconic Grand Ole Opry and performed multiple headline tours in the U.S., Germany, Amsterdam, and U.K., further embarking on his U.S. and international headlining LOVE AIN’T PRETTY TOUR this spring. In addition, Esten serves as the National Honorary Spokesperson for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual Light The Night Walk, and is a board member and volunteer for Musicians On Call.

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