Charles Esten

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Singer-songwriter and actor, Charles Esten, is best known for playing Deacon Claybourne in <i>Nashville. The role kickstarted his own country career and he’s now a respected musician in his own right. From London’s West End to the Grand Ole Opry, he’s appeared on some of the biggest stages in the world and is also known for his comedic talent on improv shows like Whose Line is it Anyway?

TV hit to country star

Charles Esten Puskar III was born on the 9th of September 1965 in Pittsburgh and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. As the lead singer of local band N'est Pas, he wooed his wife, Patty, with a rendition of the Dire Straits’ song "Romeo and Juliet."

A talented actor, Esten made his stage debut in "Buddy" in London's West End, performing for Queen Elizabeth II and George Bush. His talents for music and comedy saw him graduate to TV, appearing regularly on the improv show Who's Line is it Anyway Charles effortlessly improvised songs alongside Greg Proops and Ryan Stiles.

Additional TV credits followed, including ER and Married with Children. But it was Esten's starring turn as the soulful and troubled Deacon Claybourne in Nashville that saw him unite his twin careers as a musician and actor. Fans followed his turbulent storyline as the head of Rayna Jaymes's band between 2012 and 2018, and it proved the catalyst for his own musical career.

Ironically enough, Esten had twice been booked to sing at the Bluebird before Nashville came into the picture but never quite made it. So then, as Deacon, he spent most of his time in one of the most famous eateries in Nashville, playing music for the show.

Charles has contributed songs to the Nashville soundtrack, including "Back Home" and "Without You". Meanwhile, his original music has been streamed over 9.5 million times. Since leaving the TV drama, Esten has established himself as a legitimate musician in how own right, appearing multiple times at the Grand Ole Opry and regularly selling out tour dates.

Unlike Deacon Claybourne, who never entirely made good on his talent, Charles has gone the independent route to success. Releasing music online and becoming a visible part of the Nashville community, Esten's career has really taken flight, and he handles acting and singing like a pro.

Since his stint on Nashville, Charles refocused on his songwriting, releasing originals and music from the TV show. He now lives in Nashville with his wife Patty and their three children.

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