Jon McLaughlin readies for Indy 500 Rev Your Engines Concert on Monument Circle with Gavin Degraw

Anderson native is new dad

INDIANAPOLIS - A star singer, songwriter and pianist will be back on the stage in his native Indiana to get Hoosiers revved up for the Indianapolis 500 this weekend.

Jon McLaughlin will take the stage Saturday night for the Rev Your Engines Concert on Monument Circle with Gavin Degraw.

The Anderson native sat down with RTV6 anchor Ericka Flye in his Indianapolis studio to talk about fame, family and celebrating his Hoosier roots.

"Ever since I was 4 years old, I always wanted to be, you know, on the big stage," McLaughlin told Flye. "I always played piano, and I always did musicals and choir and stuff like that, but I didn't get serious about what I do now, in terms of writing music, until I got to college (at Anderson University)."

Since then, he's gone on to sell more than 170,000 albums and more than 1 million digital tracks, but he's always stayed close to Indiana.

"I'm just an Indiana guy. There's just something about the Midwest, and staying close to home," McLaughlin said. "Of course, I travel so much that I want to go back home at the end of the day."

His debut album, "Indiana," was released in 2007, a welcome payoff for a young Midwesterner's tireless effort to get his music worldwide recognition.

"I would put all my news songs on Myspace, and every day I would go to the computer like 10 times a day check how many plays I had that day," McLaughlin remembers.

What he got was the attention of big-time record labels. He was signed, and gained national stardom.

These days, his music is usually born in the basement of his Indianapolis home, where McLaughlin uses computers and sound equipment to create,

"I just push buttons until things sound good," he laughed.

There's no doubt that McLaughlin knows his music. But there's a new role he's just now settling into -- being a first-time father.

He and his wife, Amy, welcomed daughter Luca four months ago.

"I don't sleep as much as I used to, but, it's awesome," McLaughlin said. "It's been the greatest thing in the world."

McLaughlin said he's excited to perform in front of an Indiana crowd at Saturday's Rev Your Engine's concert downtown.

"The hometown support has really meant a lot to me over the years," he said.

RTV6 is proud to be the media sponsor of Saturday night's concert. Tune in for a pre-concert special Saturday at 7 p.m.

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