From celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan and Olympian Scott Hamilton to reality stars Kristin Cavallari and the Chrisleys, a brief look at the stars who have moved here recently
Nationally known celebrities — who aren’t even country singers — are among recent waves of people flocking to Music City and the area. Here are some of the most famous new residents of the past 20 years.
Kathie Lee Gifford
Longtime television talk show host; actress; a singer; songwriter; former “Hee-Haw” Honey; 68 years old
Moved to Franklin: 2018
Why Central Tennessee? “It’s a culture of kindness in Nashville,” she told the Today show in 2019. “They’re genuinely kind…and happy!”
Kathie Lee Gifford sits down with the Tennessean
Kathie Lee Gifford sits down with the Tennessean to talk daytime TV, music and life in Franklin, TN.
Mike Fant, Nashville Tennessean
What she likes to do here: Pack lunch and write with some of Nashville’s biggest songwriters, including Brett James, Kelley Lovelace and Stephanie Bentley, she told the Tennessean.
Where you might spot Gifford: Gray’s on Main in Franklin or the Franklin Farmers Market
► In the next five years: Chamber Projects 200,000 more are coming to the Nashville area
Watch out for Nashville: More people from Chicago, New York and Los Angeles are coming
Creator and star of the History Channel show “American Pickers”; owner of antique shops; 57 years old
Moved to Leiper’s Fork: 2011
Why Central Tennessee? “I’m a huge country music fan,” he told the Tennessean. “And I love the collaborative atmosphere here.”
what he likes about it: “I love the way people cling to history here more than anywhere else in this country I’ve been to.”
VIDEO: “American Pickers” Mike Wolfe talks about what he loves about Middle Tennessee
American Pickers host Mike Wolfe shares what he loves about Middle Tennessee.
Josie Norris, Nashville Tennessean
Where you might spot Wolfe: The Country Boy restaurant in Leiper’s Fork or his antique archeology store in Marathon Village in Nashville
Food Network Celebrity Chef; owner of a restaurant; 45 years old
Moved to Franklin: 2014
Why Central Tennessee? Business partners suggested Music City as a place to launch restaurants, and Chauhan visited and loved it.
All about Nashville from the jump: “It was love on first landing,” Chauhan said at a Tennessean Nashville Storytellers event in 2016. “That’s how my love affair with Nashville began.”
Where you might spot Chauhan: Loveless Cafe, King’s Market Cafe or in one of its restaurants in Nashville, Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Chaatable, Tansuo or Mockingbird Nashville
2002 Cy Young Award-winning pitcher; author of books; 43 years
Moved to Nashville: 2015
Why? Zito finished his pitching career for the AAA Nashville Sounds and decided to stay here when he retired
Moving to Nashville from California“It felt like a reset here. Nobody knows me, in the malls or otherwise. I feel like I can really be myself,” he told the Tennessean. “I always felt like I was on my toes in the Bay Area or LA. I don’t get any of that here, so it’s a release.
Former conservative voice on national TV talk shows “The View” and “Fox & Friends”; former “Survivor” candidate, 44 years old
Moved to Belle Meade: 2016
Why Nashville? Hasselbeck told The Tennessean she fell in love with the city after hosting the K-LOVE Christian Music Awards here in 2015
She likes it here because“Nashville is a city that has eyes that see others, the space for kindness, and the hands to lift someone up when they need it.”
Where you might spot Hasselbeck: A Titans game, a Predators game, or a fundraiser for Mending Hearts, The Next Door, or other programs that serve women with addictions
Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Predators’ You [Stink]’ to sing
Elisabeth Hasselbeck Says She’s Conflicted With Nashville Predators ‘You [Stink]’ song for opposing goalies during hockey games.
Henry Taylor, The Tennessian
Justin Timberlake (sort of)
international pop star; actor; founding member of ‘N Sync; record producer; restorer; 40 years
I bought a place at Leiper’s Fork: 2015
Why Central Tennessee? A native of Memphis, Timberlake secured land in Williamson County and opened a restaurant in downtown Nashville to feel “community” and return to the South, his business partner, Trace Ayala, told the Tennessean.
Ready for a change“We were shooting all over and living in LA, and it was so far from where we were from,” Ayala said. “I think now that we’ve found this place and landed here, we’ve kind of settled things back down.
Where you might spot Timberlake: The Twelve Thirty Club in the 5th downtown entertainment/restaurant complex + Broadway.
Olympic gold medalist figure skater; TV commentator; actor; philanthropist; cancer survivor, 63
Moved to Franklin: 2005
Why Central Tennessee: Hamilton’s wife, Tracie, is from Tennessee, and the Los Angeles-based couple were looking for a different place to raise their children.
Quotable“I love Nashville – the most generous city I’ve ever been to, period,” he told the Tennessean.
Where you might spot Hamilton: Scott Hamilton Skating Club at Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue or most charity fundraising events in Nashville
Grammy-winning bluesman; guitarist; a singer; songwriter; actor; political activist; 70 years
Moved to Franklin: 2010
Why? Keb’ Mo’ found a home here while playing a show at the Ryman Auditorium, and his wife encouraged him to go.
First impressions“I was standing on the deck right there and looked around and said, ‘It’s not that bad. It’ll be fine,'” he told the Tennessean.
walk of fame: Mo’ will be inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame in April alongside country artists Deirks Bentley, Connie Smith and Bobby Bare.
Ben ‘Zorilla’ Zobrist
2016 Chicago Cubs World Series Heroes; longtime Major League Baseball player; 40 years
Moved to Franklin: 2005
Why Central Tennessee? His then-wife, Julianna, was a budding Christian music star, and the contemporary Christian music industry is based in Franklin and Nashville.
A rocky road here: Zobrist and his ex-wife got embroiled in a botched divorce, with charges filed in court that Julianna Zobrist was having an affair.
Reality star “Very Cavallari”; jewelry designer and store owner; ex-wife of former NFL and Vanderbilt football QB Jay Cutler; 35 years
Moved to Nashville: 2017
Why Central Tennessee? She and Cutler spent many of their first weeks dating in Nashville. The two bought a house eight months later, hoping to move here when Cutler’s football career ended.
What she likes in Nashville: The mother-of-three told the Tennessean that Music City “is a great place to raise a family.”
Where you might spot Cavallari: His store, Uncommon James, in the Gulch or Nashville Farmers Market or the 5th & Taylor restaurant
Seesaw; producer; singer composer; record label owner; 46 years
Moved to Nashville: 2005
Why the move: After exploding into rock ‘n’ roll with the White Stripes in his native Detroit, White began to seek a change. “It was a music business town where I could do my thing on the sidelines and slip through the cracks,” he told The Tennessean in 2018.
Jack White’s Nashville Story
Did Jack White create the “New Nashville”
The result? “I guess I’m a Detroiter for life, but I feel like a Nashvillian now.”
Where you might spot White: Third Man Records, his label/music venue/record store/bar/photo studio near the Music City Center
Todd and Julie Chrisley
USA Network’s ‘Chrisley Knows Best’ reality TV stars, real estate moguls, restaurant owners, 52 and 49
Moved to Nashville: 2016
Big plans for Music City: Last year, the Chrisleys told the Tennessean that they were planning to soon open a Southern home-cooking restaurant and a “chic” champagne bar. “If we’re going to be in something, I want to be in something fancy, and you’re not here fighting,” Todd Chrisley said.
Where you might spot the Chrisleys: Motorcycle, Hattie B’s, Green Hills Grille, Arnold’s Country Kitchen
award-winning chef James Beard; restorer; founding chef of the famous Husk chain; cookbook author; New York Times Bestseller
Moved to Nashville: 2013
Why? To open the Nashville version of Husk, an award-winning southern restaurant he launched in Charleston, SC
Quotable“Here in Nashville, the energy is incredible right now,” he told the Tennessean in 2016. “What you’re seeing now is a group of enthusiastic, creative young people.”
Where you might spot Brock: His flagship rustic restaurant, Audrey, in East Nashville, or his gourmet restaurant, The Continental, in the Grand Hyatt – or his East Nashville Joyland burger joint
Fox News personality; Fox Nation commentator; influencer; author; 29 years
Moved to Nashville: 2020
Quotable: “Nashville, Tennessee, my new and present hometown. A vibrant, tight-knit, generally safe Southern city…” she said in a comment following the 2020 Christmas bombing in the center -city. “I know our city is resilient, proud and strong.”
Contact Brad Schmitt at [email protected] or 615-259-8384 or Twitter @bradschmitt.