Kathie Lee, Mike Wolfe, Maneet and the Chrisleys — Celebs are flocking to Nashville, too

·6 min read

Nationally-known celebrities — who aren't even country singers — are part of recent waves of people flocking to Music City and the region. Here are some of the most famous new residents from the last 20 years.

Kathie Lee Gifford

Longtime television talk show host; actress; singer; songwriter; former "Hee-Haw" Honey; 68 years old

Kathie Lee Gifford and Jars of Clay perform at the Franklin Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in downtown Franklin on Friday, Dec 6, 2019.
Kathie Lee Gifford and Jars of Clay perform at the Franklin Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in downtown Franklin on Friday, Dec 6, 2019.

Moved to Franklin: 2018

Why Middle Tennessee? "It's a culture of kindness in Nashville," she told the Today show in 2019. "They're authentically kind... and joyful!"

Look out Nashville: More people from Chicago, New York and Los Angeles are coming

What she loves to do here: Make lunch for 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

Mike Wolfe

Mike Wolf, the host of TV's "American Pickers," is pictured with a 1960 Impala at his home in Leipers Fork, Tenn., on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.
Mike Wolf, the host of TV's "American Pickers," is pictured with a 1960 Impala at his home in Leipers Fork, Tenn., on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.

Creator and star of the History Channel show "American Pickers"; antiques stores owner; 57 years old

Moved to Leiper's Fork: 2011

Why Middle Tennessee? "I'm a huge fan of country music," he told the Tennessean. "And I love the collaborative atmosphere that's here."

What he loves about it: "I love the way people hold onto history here more than anywhere else in this country that I've ever been."

Where you might spot Wolfe: The Country Boy Restaurant in Leiper's Fork or his Antique Archaeology store in Marathon Village in Nashville

Maneet Chauhan

Food Network celebrity chef; restaurant owner; 45 years old

Celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan and Tennessean chicken taster Juan Buitrago show off their hot chicken plates at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack.
Celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan and Tennessean chicken taster Juan Buitrago show off their hot chicken plates at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack.

Moved to Franklin: 2014

Why Middle Tennessee? Business partners suggested Music City as a place to launch restaurants, and Chauhan visited and loved it.

All in on Nashville from the jump: "It was love at first landing," Chauhan said during a 2016 Tennessean Nashville Storytellers event. "That's how my love story with Nashville started."

Where you might spot Chauhan: Loveless Cafe, King's Market Cafe or at one of her Nashville restaurants, Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Chaatable, Tansuo or Mockingbird Nashville

Barry Zito

2002 Cy Young-award winning pitcher; book author; 43 years old

Moved to Nashville: 2015

Oakland Athletics pitcher Barry Zito delivers to Minnesota Twins' Nick Punto during the first inning of an American League Division Series baseball game in Minneapolis Oct. 3, 2006.
Oakland Athletics pitcher Barry Zito delivers to Minnesota Twins' Nick Punto during the first inning of an American League Division Series baseball game in Minneapolis Oct. 3, 2006.

Why? Zito finished his career pitching for the AAA Nashville Sounds and decided to stay here when he retired

On moving to Nashville from California: “It felt like a reset here. No one knows me, in the malls or whatever. I feel like I can truly be myself," he told the Tennessean. "I always felt I was on guard in the Bay area or Los Angeles. I don’t get any of that here, so it’s a liberation.”

Elisabeth Hasselbeck in her Belle Meade home in 2019
Elisabeth Hasselbeck in her Belle Meade home in 2019

Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Former conservative voice on national TV talk shows "The View" and "Fox & Friends"; one-time "Survivor" contestant, 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 show here in 2015

She loves it here because: "Nashville is a city that has eyes that see other people, 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 drug-addicted women

Justin Timberlake (sort of)

International pop star; actor; founding member of 'N Sync; record producer; restaurateur; 40 years old

Justin Timberlake performs at Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at The Park at Harlinsdale in Franklin, Tenn.
Justin Timberlake performs at Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at The Park at Harlinsdale in Franklin, Tenn.

Bought a place in Leiper's Fork: 2015

Why Middle Tennessee? A Memphis native, Timberlake obtained land in Williamson County and opened a restaurant in downtown Nashville to get a feeling of "community" and to return to the South, his business partner, Trace Ayala, told the Tennessean.

Ready for a change: "We were touring everywhere, and lived in L.A., and it was so far from where we'd come 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 downtown's 5th + Broadway entertainment/restaurant complex.

Scott Hamilton

Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater; TV commentator; actor; philanthropist; cancer survivor, 63 years old

Scott Hamilton gives advice to participants during the Adaptive SkateFest at the Ford Ice Center in Antioch, Tenn., Saturday, July 6, 2019.
Scott Hamilton gives advice to participants during the Adaptive SkateFest at the Ford Ice Center in Antioch, Tenn., Saturday, July 6, 2019.

Moved to Franklin: 2005

Why Middle Tennessee: Hamilton's wife, Tracie, is a Tennessee native, and the Los Angeles-based couple was looking for a different place to raise their children.

Quotable: "I love Nashville — the most giving city I've ever been in, period," he told the Tennessean.

Where you might spot Hamilton: Scott Hamilton Skating Club at Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue or most any charity fundraiser event in Nashville

Keb' Mo'

Grammy award-winning bluesman; guitarist; singer; songwriter; actor; political activist; 70 years old

Keb Mo accepts the Lifetime Performance Award during the Americana Music Association Awards ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.
Keb Mo accepts the Lifetime Performance Award during the Americana Music Association Awards ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

Moved to Franklin: 2010

Why? Keb' Mo' found a house here while playing a show at the Ryman Auditorium, and his wife encouraged him to go for it.

First impressions: "I stood on the deck right there and I looked around and said, 'This ain't so bad. This'll be all right,'" 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 hero; longtime Major League Baseball player; 40 years old

Chicago Cubs' Ben Zobrist, right, and Jason Heyward celebrate with teammates after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals to clinch the National League Central title on Sept. 27, 2017.
Chicago Cubs' Ben Zobrist, right, and Jason Heyward celebrate with teammates after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals to clinch the National League Central title on Sept. 27, 2017.

Moved to Franklin: 2005

Why Middle Tennessee? His then wife, Julianna was an aspiring 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 involved in a sloppy divorce, with accusations filed in court that Julianna Zobrist an affair.

Kristin Cavallari

"Very Cavallari" reality TV star; jewelry designer and store owner; ex-wife of former NFL and Vanderbilt football QB Jay Cutler; 35 years old

Kristin Cavallari is photographed in her Nashville store Uncommon James Monday, July 8, 2019.
Kristin Cavallari is photographed in her Nashville store Uncommon James Monday, July 8, 2019.

Moved to Nashville: 2017

Why Middle Tennessee? She and Cutler spent several 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 loves about Nashville: The mother of three told the Tennessean that Music City "is a great place to raise a family."

Where you might spot Cavallari: Her store, Uncommon James, in the Gulch or Nashville Farmers Market or restaurant 5th & Taylor

Brendan Benson and Jack White of the Raconteurs perform June 13, 2008, at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn.
Brendan Benson and Jack White of the Raconteurs perform June 13, 2008, at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn.

Jack White

Rocker; producer; singer/songwriter; record label owner; 46 years old

Moved to Nashville: 2005

Why the move: After exploding into rock 'n' roll fame with the White Stripes in his native Detroit, White started looking for a change. "This was a music business town where I could do my thing on the side and sneak through the cracks," he told the Tennessean in 2018.

The result? "I guess I'm a Detroiter for life, but I feel like I'm a Nashvillian now.”

Where you might spot White: Third Man Records, his record label/concert venue/record store/bar/photo studio near the Music City Center

Todd and Julie Chrisley

Reality TV stars from USA Network's "Chrisley Knows Best," real estate tycoons, restaurateurs, 52 and 49 year old

Moved to Nashville: 2016

Reality TV stars Todd Chrisley and his wife, Julie, at their home in Belle Meade, Tennessee, in 2018.
Reality TV stars Todd Chrisley and his wife, Julie, at their home in Belle Meade, Tennessee, in 2018.

Big plans for Music City: Last year, the Chrisleys told the Tennessean they planned to open a Southern home-cooking restaurant and a "classy" champagne bar here soon. "If we’re going to participate in something, I want to participate in something classy, and you’re not out here bar fighting," Todd Chrisley said.

Where you might spot the Chrisleys: Moto, Hattie B's, Green Hills Grille, Arnold's Country Kitchen

Sean Brock

Chef Sean Brock poses for a portrait at his new restaurant Audrey Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn.
Chef Sean Brock poses for a portrait at his new restaurant Audrey Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn.

James Beard award-winning chef; restaurateur; founding chef of lauded Husk chain; cookbook author; New York Times bestseller

Moved to Nashville: 2013

Why? To open Nashville's version of Husk, an award-winning Southern restaurant he launched in Charleston, S.C.

Quotable: "Here in Nashville, the energy is amazing right now," he told the Tennessean in 2016. "What you're seeing now is a bunch of young, enthusiastic, creative people."

Where you might spot Brock: His flagship rustic restaurant, Audrey, in East Nashville, or his fine-dining restaurant, The Continental, in the Grand Hyatt — or his East Nashville burger joint Joyland

Tomi Lahren

Fox News personality; Fox Nation commentator; influencer; author; 29 years old

Tomi Lahren speaks about Back the Blue during the Turning Point USA at Clemson University Thursday, April 8, 2021.
Tomi Lahren speaks about Back the Blue during the Turning Point USA at Clemson University Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Moved to Nashville: 2020

Quotable: "Nashville, Tennessee, my new and current hometown. A vibrant, tight-knit and usually safe Southern town...," she said in a commentary following the Christmas 2020 downtown bombing. "I know our city is resilient, proud and strong."

Reach Brad Schmitt at brad@tennessean.com or 615-259-8384 or Twitter @bradschmitt.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Celebs moving to Nashville include Kathie Lee Gifford, Maneet Chauhan