On the megahit Fox series Glee, Chord Overstreet plays McKinley High School transfer student, football star, and frequently shirtless, Bieber-haired New Directions member Sam Evans. It’s a role that has forced the 22-year-old Nashville, Tennessee, native to cultivate his song-and-dance skills and knack for cornball humor, as well as an impressive set of washboard abs. “I auditioned for the show within 30 minutes of being notified—played three songs, did the studio test, the network test, and was on the show recording my first song the day after I found out I got the role,” says Overstreet, whose channeling of a popular but insecure 16-year-old jock has quickly thrust him into the white-hot center of the Glee hysteria mob. Overstreet’s own introduction to music came early on: His father, country singer-songwriter Paul Overstreet, has recorded more than 10 albums and written songs for the Judds, Randy Travis, Blake Shelton, and others (he co-wrote the 1999 Kenny Chesney nugget “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”). “I’ve been playing music since I was born,” the young Overstreet says. At the age of four, he participated in his first down-home jam session when his father pulled him onstage during a gig in Oklahoma. “I got to play my mandolin—or I attempted to.” When he’s not working on Glee, Overstreet, who moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to pursue acting, has begun writing some songs of his own. “I write alternative, folkie pop,” he says. “It’s very acoustic.”
Click here to watch Chord Overstreet perform on Glee.
Photos: Chord Overstreet in Los Angeles, December 2010. Cardigan: Tommy Hilfiger. Shirt: 3.1 Phillip Lim. Styling: Moses/Margaret Maldonado Agency. Grooming: Cheri Keating/The Wall Group. Special Thanks: Miauhaus Studios.