PELLA — The life of a single parent is often difficult, demanding and exhausting, and a Pella High School graduate is giving his mom the recognition she deserves.
“Single Mom,” a song written and performed by Pella High School alum Adam Whitehead and Iowa Hawkeye football player Dalles Jacobus, has been climbing the country music charts and permeating radio stations across the state since its release earlier this year.
“There are so many single moms out there that don’t get the recognition they deserve,” says Whitehead. “My mom is an inspiration for the song, and it’s an ode for everybody out there that’s a single parent and is trying to do the thing. In today’s world, it’s hard.”
Whitehead, a former employee at Pella Corporation, is no stranger to the music industry. He originally pursued a career as a musician throughout his 20s, making multiple trips to Nashville to try to get a publishing deal. But, after 10 years, he decided it was no longer for him.
However, a life-altering event made Whitehead realize his true dream of becoming a musician.
“My daddy died last year of lung cancer, and it really made me realize we only get one life to chase our dreams,” says Whitehead.
A unique collaboration
Whitehead approached Jacobus, a defensive lineman for the Hawkeyes, after hearing “We Wave.” The song was written and performed by Jacobus to commemorate the Iowa Wave, a tradition where Hawkeye fans turn and wave to patients at the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital during the football season.
“I was scrolling through my feed one day and heard and saw the video of him singing the song, and I was immediately impressed with not only his voice, but the fact that he wrote it,” says Whitehead.
Last winter, Whitehead reached out to Jacobus for a second time and asked if he would help him write “Single Mom.” Whitehead already had a good first verse to the song, and Jacobus chipped in with the second. The two collaborated on the hook and the chorus.
“We didn’t do it the ‘Nashville Way,’” says Whitehead. “Instead, we sent videos back and forth to one another with what we were both coming up with, and finally, after a few exchanges, we had a song.”
Different experiences, one message
When Whitehead was in eighth grade, his parents divorced.
“From that point on, I grew up in a single mom atmosphere,” says Whitehead. “Those are some of the more meaningful years of childhood for me, some of the harder years, and I didn’t make it easy on her,” says Whitehead.
Jacobus grew up in a tight-knit, two-parent household, so he originally found it difficult to write the lyrics.
“I don’t know how long it was, but it was a long time that I couldn’t write a single word,” says Jacobus. “My aunt is a single mom raising two kids and is really close to them, so I reached out to her to ask her about what it’s like.”
Jacobus had a two-hour conversation with his aunt about her feelings and experiences as a single mom.
“It was a reality that she was going to be a single mom, and their dad wasn’t going to be in the picture,” says Jacobus. “I’m not even kidding when I say this, but when I got off the phone, I had written that second verse and come up with the chorus and the hook and sent it to Adam within 10 minutes.”
With the EP and unplugged version set to release June 19, both Whitehead and Jacobus are thankful for the support and impact the song has had on single moms and those who grew up in similar households.
“When I first listened to it on the radio, I completely stopped in my tracks,” says Whitehead. “It was a complete creation that we made together, and to know that it’s affecting so many people in a positive way is a blessing. Blessing isn’t even the right word for it. It’s just so cool.”
“I’m not a very emotional guy, but I was dang near in tears the first time I heard it on the radio,” says Jacobus. “We have people we’ve never met or even heard from before sending us messages of videos of them listening to the song in their cars with their kids, in tears. It’s something that is so very special.”
“Single Mom” can be heard here: https://newcountrysongs.com/adam-whitehead-single-mom/.