Who Is 'Nashville' Guest Ron Pope? The Rising Star Will Play Himself In "This Just Ain't A Good Day For Leavin'"

Part of Nashville's charm is its ability to draw so many legendary country stars to its fictionalized version of Music City, USA. Vince Gill has played himself on the show, as have Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, and Brad Paisley — practically the entire front row of the CMA Awards. These cameos from some of the genre’s most well-respected artists help to bolster the show’s musical reputation. This week, however, the tables have turned and the series will be doing its part to boost an up-and-coming country star as Ron Pope guest stars on Nashville.

The “Ain’t No Angel” singer doesn’t have Gill’s career yet, but playing himself on the show might send him on his way. Pope found some moderate success over the past few years as a singer-songwriter; his song “A Drop In The Ocean” became somewhat of a viral hit, and he has a few folk/pop/rock albums under his belt. “Angel” announced his shift from skinny jeans and sneakers to boots and Stetsons. Following that release up with a juicy primetime network drama guest spot makes him just about the luckiest genre-hopper in the business. Check out the preview for Wednesday night's episode below, and watch as Ron makes some studio magic with Andrew Combs’ “Big Bad Love.”

Remember when Rayna broke Luke Wheeler’s heart and humiliated him in front of the entire country music industry? Because he sure does. And now that Luke’s Wheelin’ and Dealin’ Records is getting off the ground, he has a chance to get Rayna back where it really hurts: right in the label. This sneak peek shows that Bucky and Luke will both be impressed by Pope’s performance and the way he’s “tearin’ up the Internet.” Since Jeff Fordham was fired and became a Nashville persona non grata, I assumed that Rayna’s Highway 65 would be butting heads mostly with Luke’s company. But I definitely wouldn’t have guessed that Bucky, Rayna’s right hand man, dear friend, and confidante, would ever betray any doubt in her leadership abilities. There’s trouble brewing in the Rayna Jaymes ranks, and I don’t like it. Pope is so good that he’s “off-brand for Highway 65”? Et tu, Bucky?

As for the man in the middle of all of this, he’s sitting pretty. As any ‘80s teen comedy will tell us, one’s stock only rises when being fought over by two potential suitors. It makes no difference to the real Pope that those suitors are fictional characters. For now, it seems that his appearance on the show is a one-off. But if his only Nashville legacy is a scorching solo performance, breaking up Bucky and Rayna, and setting a label-based war of the exes in motion, I’d say that’ll do. Check out Ron Pope’s full appearance on Nashville Wednesday night and see what chaos the rising star has wrought.

Image: ABC