Wednesdays, 10:00-11:00 p.m.

Deacon Claybourne on ABC's "Nashville"

Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Charles "Chip" Esten was raised in Alexandria, VA and attended T.C. Williams High School (made famous in the film "Remember the Titans"). He then attended The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, where he graduated with a degree in economics and met his eventual wife, Patty. While in Williamsburg, he was lead singer/songwriter in a popular local band, N'est Pas.

Esten made his theatrical debut in London when he portrayed Buddy Holly, singing, acting and playing guitar in the hit West End musical "Buddy." In that role, he was honored to perform for H.R.M Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and eventually President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush at The White House. He was also very honored to perform with Jerry Allison and Joe B. Mauldin, Buddy's original hit-making bandmates, the Crickets.

It was during his run as Buddy that Esten first appeared on the original British version of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," with Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops. When "Whose Line" came to ABC, he became a recurring cast member and frequent song improvisor. Since then, he has appeared on Drew Carey's Improvaganza and toured frequently; performing live improv shows with Stiles, Proops and Jeff B. Davis.

Esten's many additional television credits include recurring roles on "Big Love," "Enlightened," "The Office" and "ER." Besides being the father on Disney Channel's "Jessie," he has been a Klingon on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," a secretary on "Murphy Brown" and Kelly Bundy's fiancé on the series finale of "Married with Children." His film credits include "Swing Vote," "Thirteen Days," "61*" and "The Postman."

In his first two seasons on "Nashville," Esten was honored to perform at the Grand Ole Opry and in the historic Ryman auditorium. Many of the songs he has performed as Deacon Claybourne are available on the "Nashville" soundtracks, including "Nashville: On The Record", which was recorded live at the Ryman. Esten is thrilled to be performing a song live on air for the Season 3 premiere. Even more exciting is the fact that the song he will be playing that night, "I Know How To Love You Now," is an original that he co-wrote with his friend, Deana Carter.

Esten and his wife have two daughters and a son. He can be followed on Twitter @CharlesEsten.

HOMETOWN Pittsburgh, PA and Alexandria, VA
BIRTHDAY September 9




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