My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Spotlight Artist: Brad Paisley

A presence at the top of the country charts for more than a decade now, singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso Brad Paisley has frequently been heralded as the savior of traditional country music. While that may be overstating the case a bit, there is no doubt that he has played a key role in keeping the traditional sound alive, having built a reputation for combining contemporary country elements with humor, while showing a deep and profound respect for country music’s past.

The Glendale, West Virginia native was born on October 28, 1972. His interest in country music was sparked at age eight when his grandfather gave him his first guitar. Shortly thereafter he began singing in church. He wrote his first song at age 12 and formed his first band when he was 13. When he was in junior high school, he was invited to perform on Jamboree USA, a Wheeling, West Virginia radio program that is the second oldest country music broadcast in the United States, after the Grand Ole Opry. He became a regular cast member, performing with superstars such as Ricky Skaggs, George Jones, and The Judds.

After high school, Brad attended West Liberty University in West Virginia for two years before transferring to Belmont University in Nashville on a fully-paid scholarship. While at Belmont, he met Frank Rogers, who would one day become his record producer, as well as Kelly Lovelace and Chris DuBois, who became his songwriting partners.

Paisley spent the first few years following his graduation from Belmont as a staff songwriter for EMI Music Publishing, before signing with Arista Nashville in 1998. From that point, success came quickly. His first single “Who Needs Pictures” was released in February 1999. Released at a time when country music was becoming more pop-oriented, the record struck a chord with audiences who yearned for more traditional-sounding music. “Who Needs Pictures” climbed to #12 on the charts, and the follow-up release “He Didn’t Have To Be” made it all the way to #1. In 2000 he won the CMA’s Horizon Award and the Academy of Country Music’s Best New Male Vocalist award. He was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2001.

Brad married actress Kimberly Williams in 2003, following her appearance in one of his music videos. They are now the parents of two young sons and live in Franklinville, Tennessee.

In the almost dozen years since his debut, Paisley has racked up 27 charting singles, 15 of which have made it to #1, as well as seven studio albums, five of which have been certified platinum or better, and one that has been certified gold. A double-disc greatest hits package, containing both the studio recordings and previously unreleased live versions of his hits, will be released this week. We hope you’ll enjoy our look back at the accomplishments of this talented performer as we spotlight the career of Brad Paisley throughout the month of November.

4 responses to “Spotlight Artist: Brad Paisley

  1. Ben Foster November 1, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I have enjoyed many of Brad Paisley’s songs. But with songs like “Water,” the novelty-song act does seem to be wearing thin by now.

  2. Pingback: Randy Travis Divorces; Asleep at the Wheel to Celebrate 40 Years; Broken Bow Records Signs Kristi Lee Cook | The 9513

  3. Tom November 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    …nice choice. surley, one of the major work-horses of country music and country radio over the last decade deserves his 15 minutes of fame here. so much talent there that even water can’t really dilute it.

  4. Leeann November 2, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I admit that he can be hokey too much, but he’s still one of my favorite mainstream artists.

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