When Cole Swindell walked down the aisle last week and married Courtney Little, there was one major person who was missing — his father. On Father's Day, the country singer shared on social media that he made sure his dad was a part of his big day by symbolically reserving him a seat.

"Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there," he writes. "Also, I realize today is a tough one for some folks that may have lost theirs a little too soon. Hang in there.. they are watching over us! Had mine a seat saved at our ceremony."

Swindell included a picture of an empty chair draped in a cloth that reads, "In loving memory of William Keith Swindell."

How Did Cole Swindell's Father Die?

In 2013, Swindell's father died unexpectedly over Labor Day Weekend. Details about his death are sparse, but he was 65 years. The "Never Say Never" singer posted about losing his dad the Monday after it happened.

"Lost the greatest man I've ever known today," Swindell wrote at the time, "the kind of Dad that made this world a better place. He always did everything he could to make mine better ... doesn't seem real. Hard to understand."

Swindell also lost his mother, Betty Carol Rainey, in 2021.

Cole Swindell's Father Was the Inspiration Behind "You Should Be Here"

While dealing with the loss of his father, Swindell did what most artists do — he turned to music. He jumped in the studio with Ashley Gorley and penned the song "You Should Be Here." The song title was Gorley's idea and Swindell ran with it.

"I didn’t really [write about my father] until after Ashley said that title," he said of the song in 2016. "I knew I wanted a song about that, something that would honor him but also help others. It was an answer to prayer when he said, 'You Should Be Here.' I’ll never forget that title and how it made me feel.

Who is Cole Swindell's Wife?

On Wednesday, June 12, 2024, Swindell married Country Little in Sonoma, Calif. The bride is a former NBA dancer for the Charlotte Hornets and also served as Miss Teen North Carolina in 2017.

The two first started dating in 2021, before the "She Had Me at Heads Carolina" hitmaker popped the question in 2023.

30 Mother-Son Wedding Dance Songs That Country Fans Will Love

A mother needs her moment at her son's wedding. Find 30 great mother-son dance country songs on this list of hits from Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire and more. There are also lesser-known artists who struck the right tone: Click a link and try a few before deciding on the perfect wedding song for mom to say her goodbyes to her son.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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