Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Vinny Hickerson was born in Perry County, Tennessee, and has been overweight since he was nine
years old. He has had to overcome many challenges in life, including a difficult childhood with an
abusive stepfather who had addiction issues.
To escape his troubled home life, he rented an extra room
at a friend's house in his teen years while going to school and playing football. After high school, he
worked as manager of a fast food restaurant while spending nights in Nashville hoping to become a
songwriter and entertainer.
Despite being told he was too fat and would never make it, Vinny proved
them wrong when he and his band, Trailer Choir, signed a record deal after country singer Toby Keith
witnessed a live show.
Their group has since opened for Keith, Sugarland and ZZ Top. One of their
music videos, "Rockin' the Beer Gut," was nominated for Best Group Video of the Year at the CMT
Music Awards in 2010.
Vinny feels like he accomplished many things in his life despite being heavy,
but a recent health scare caused by high blood sugar convinced him he had to get healthy so he could be
there for his fiancé and future stepson.
At 27 years old and 426 lbs., Vinny hopes to inspire others to get
healthy so they can pursue their dreams as well.