November 10, 2020

Netflix's 'Country Ever After' star Coffey Anderson on faith, family and wife's cancer battle


When country singer Coffey Anderson was 4 years old, a pastor spoke a powerful proclamation over his life. 

“We were singing at a revival in Bangs, Texas, at New Testament Holiness Church, and before the pastor came out, they asked me and my sister to sing [the gospel song] 'Christian Automobile,'” Coffey recalled in an interview with The Christian Post.

“The band was playing, and the pastor comes out and goes, ‘who is singing that?’... And he prayed over us that God would use our gifts for Him. I tell everybody, I guess it worked because look where we are right now. Look what’s happening. Are we really taking our gifts and letting Him use it?’”

Fast forward several decades, and Coffey, along with his wife, hip-hop dancer Criscilla, and their three young children, 8-year-old Ethan, 6-year-old Emmarie, and 3-year-old Everleigh, are the stars of the new Netflix reality series “Country Ever After” that debuted on Friday. 

The 12-episode show, backed by Lightworkers, follows the Andersons as they raise their children, navigate their professional lives, and live out their faith amid life's challenges.

The couple, who met at church in 2008 before marrying two years later, choose daily to “fight for each other, and not with each other,” Coffey said. 

“I told [show creators], ‘If you want to make a show of a family that fights for each other, I’m in,’” the 42-year-old singer recalled. 

The Andersons, who shot to popularity after a social media video of them went viral, agreed to appear in a reality show under the condition it would be “something my mother would want to watch,” Coffey said. 

“This show is the only family-friendly show in the last 18 months across every format to be released that you can watch from age 2 age 102,” he stressed. “There's no content that's going to make you cover up your child's eyes or make them poke their ears. That will not happen on the show. It is true family-friendly entertainment.

The family’s Christian faith is front-and-center in the show — something Coffey said was intentional. The family is often seen praying together and frequently discuss the pivotal role their faith plays in their household. 

“I think the moment you start hiding it, people can feel it,” he said. “Do I sing country music? Yes. Do I pray? Yes. Do I speak to our kids [about God]? Yes. Do we talk? Yes. Do we teach our children about the Word? Absolutely. Because that's who we really are. And we feel like we don't have to hide it.”

It’s the family’s deep faith that has sustained them throughout Criscilla’s battle with cancer. In 2018, the mother-of-three, who has danced with everyone from Britney Spears to Eminem, was diagnosed with stage 3 metastatic colon cancer. After a brief remission, the cancer advanced to stage 4.

“People haven't been behind the curtain of fighting cancer as a believer,” Coffey said. “And in our faith, we’ve had to lean on the Lord and also lean on each other.”

Though the show is at times poignant as it follows Criscilla’s battle with cancer, it also provides plenty of levity as Coffey and Criscilla navigate — often humorously — their opposing country vs. city perspectives on life and parenting. 

Amid the chaos of 2020, Coffey said he hopes “Country Ever After” “lets people breathe.”

“Sit back, put your feet up on the couch, and breathe,” he said. “Can you give yourself a break from homeschooling, from COVID, from financial stress? Yes. Can you realize that we don't have it all together? Yes.  But can we laugh at ourselves? Yes.”

Coffey encouraged viewers to “hit the thumbs on Netflix” to encourage more family-friendly content to hit the streaming service. 

“They record what you like, and they report when you comment on, and then, that’s what they’ll continue to show you," he explained. 

He quoted Philippians 4:8, which states: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

“Let's focus on those things,” he said. “Let’s hit ‘like,’ let’s hit ‘share,’ and they’ll keep buying shows like ours.”

“Country Ever After” is now streaming on Netflix.