Dylan Scott has found radio success with hits like "Hooked" and "My Girl," but the singer says that as far as he's concerned, the foundation of country music all comes back to the genre's roots. 

It's no surprise that Keith Whitley sums up the definition of the genre to Scott. Not only is the singer a longtime, avid fan of Whitley's but he even tributed his musical hero with an EP full of his own renditions of Whitley's classics in 2019. That project, called An Old Memory, consists of seven covers, ranging from "When You Say Nothing at All" to "Don't Close Your Eyes" and many more.

"My dad introduced me to Keith when I was a kid," Scott explained to Billboard upon his EP's release. "The first Keith Whitley album I ever had was his Greatest Hits, so those songs are the ones I wore out over and over and over again."

Below, Scott reflects on why Whitley is such an important musical icon to him, and what makes the iconic artist the definitive version of what country music means to him. 

To me, country music is Keith Whitley. 'Cause that's just what I grew up listening to. But yeah man, Keith Whitley was country music to me growing up, and still is. Because country music to me is a certain artist and certain lyrics.