Country Music Star Riley Green Returns Home to JSU on Nov. 20


JSU alum Riley Green performing on campus in 2019. Photo by Grace Cockrell.

In Nashville, he’s known as the recently crowned ACM New Male Artist of the Year – his music spilling from honkytonks along Music Row and his name on the marquee at historic Ryman Theatre. But in Jacksonville, Ala., he’s still known simply as “Riley,” the former Jacksonville State football player who can be found at a local sports bar dining with friends when he’s not working on his nearby farm. 

On Nov. 20, country music star Riley Green will host a benefit concert for JSU Athletics, presented by Randy Jones and Associates/Nationwide and powered by Coca-Cola, a year after he played a similar sold-out show in his alma mater’s baseball stadium. This time, he and musical guests will take the stage on Burgess-Snow Field in JSU’s football stadium. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m. 

Born in Jacksonville, Riley was raised on the sounds of traditional country, bluegrass and Southern gospel music. He learned the spirit of songwriting and performing at a young age while spending time with his grandfather, Bufford Green, who ran the Golden Saw Music Hall. Riley shared the stage with him and other men of his generation, laying a foundation for the songs he would craft in the years to come. 

The chart-topper’s full-length debut album, “Different ‘Round Here,” released through Big Machine Label Group in 2019, produced two Billboard Hot 100 songs, including No. 1 hit “There Was This Girl” and gold-certified single, “I Wish Grandpas Never Died.” Highlighting his Southern roots and relatability, he co-wrote each track offering a perspective Rolling Stone described as "drinks-in-the-air nineties country at an Alabama vs. Auburn tailgate.” 

Days after releasing his latest album, “If It Wasn’t For Trucks” – which features a tune with fellow JSU alumnus and Country Music Hall of Famer Randy Owen – Riley performed at the 55th Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards ceremony on Sept. 16, where he was honored as New Male Artist of the Year. He has also been nominated for Best New Country Artist at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. 

General admission tickets are $30 for upper level and $50 for lower level. Limited tables are available on the field for groups of six ranging $360-600 per table. Guests on the field will be arranged in pods and separated from other tables. Purchase tickets online now. A limited number of student tickets have been reserved in the red seats. Students may claim their free ticket while supplies last on MyJSU beginning on Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. Housing checkout for the semester has been moved to Nov. 21 at 12 p.m., giving resident students a chance to see the show. 

COVID-19 safety guidelines will be followed, including a socially distanced seating arrangement and mandatory mask requirement. There will not be an artist meet and greet. Concessions will be sold, including Coca-Cola and Budweiser products, and both credit cards and cash will be accepted. No outside coolers or drinks will be permitted. The stadium’s clear bag policy will be enforced. Parking will be free, except for the reserved VIP and sponsor parking area located behind Kennamer Hall in the Plaza Lot. Fans are asked to enter Gate A in the main ticket plaza. Concert tickets will not be sold at the gate, so please purchase online before arriving at the show.