Who Is Brad Paisley?
Country singer Brad Paisley released his first album, Who Needs Pictures, in 1999. The album went platinum and catapulted Paisley to fame. In 2000, the Academy of Country Music named Paisley the year's Best New Male Vocalist, and in February 2001, he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. He has since won numerous Grammy Awards and has burned up the country charts consistently.
Country music singer and songwriter Brad Douglas Paisley was born on October 28, 1972, in Glen Dale, West Virginia. Paisley's passion for music began at age 8, when his grandfather gave him his first guitar. By the age of 12, the young musician was singing in church and at civic meetings and playing in his first band, for which he wrote his own material. Paisley eventually secured a regular spot on Jamboree USA, a popular country music radio show. Paisley was so popular with listeners that he was invited to join the program as a full-time musician, opening for acts such as The Judds and Roy Clark.
After two years at West Virginia's West Liberty State College, Paisley transferred to Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. At Belmont, Paisley studied under the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers scholarship and met Frank Rogers and Kelley Lovelace, both of whom would help Paisley later in his career. A week after graduation, Paisley signed with EMI Records as a songwriter. His first success came with a hit penned in 1996 for David Kersh, called "Another You."
'Who Needs Pictures' and Stardom
Paisley made his debut as a solo artist after signing with Arista. He released his first album, Who Needs Pictures, in 1999. The record produced the No. 1 hit "He Didn't Have to Be," followed by the chart-topping single, "We Danced." The album sold more than 1 million copies and catapulted Paisley to fame. The next year, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) named Paisley the Best New Male Vocalist, and the Country Music Association (CMA) granted him the prestigious Horizon Award.
In February 2001, Paisley was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Several months later, he received his first Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist. He also released his second album, Part II (2001), which featured his cheeky and unforgettable No. 1 single "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)." Three other songs on the album, "I Wish You'd Stay," "Wrapped Around" and "Two People Fell in Love," also made it into the Top 10 on the country charts.
Paisley's next album, Mud on the Tires (2003), was also highly successful, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard chart and featuring an acclaimed duet with Alison Krauss, called "Whiskey Lullaby." The video for his collaboration with Krauss won several awards, and the single made it to No. 3 on the Hot Country charts.
Paisley's 2005 effort, Time Well Wasted, came on the heels of his sold-out Two Hats and Redhead Tour with Reba McEntire and Terri Clark. The album included a collaboration with Dolly Parton for "When I Get Where I'm Going," which won the CMA Award for Musical Event of the Year in 2006. The album also scored Paisley both ACM and CMA Awards for Best Album. That same year, Paisley embarked on a successful tour, with rising star Carrie Underwood serving as his opening act.
'5th Gear' and Later Albums
Teaming up to record together, Paisley and Underwood sang a duet, "Oh Love," on his next release, 5th Gear (2007). Reaching the top spot on the country album charts, the album featured several No. 1 hit singles, including "Online," "Letter to Me" and "I'm Still a Guy." Paisley also took home several major awards that same year, winning the ACM Award for Top Male Vocalist and the CMA Award for Male Vocalist of the Year. He also won his first Grammy Award for the instrumental track "Throttleneck."
Paisley's next album, Play: The Guitar Album, hit stores in November 2008, featuring collaborations with musicians such as Keith Urban, Vince Gill and B.B. King. Paisley and Urban received 2008 Entertainer of the Year nominations at the CMAs for their duet. Although their performance didn't win, Paisley walked away with Male Vocalist of the Year and Music Video of the Year honors. He also made a splash that year as co-host of the CMAs, alongside Carrie Underwood, the first of many years the pair would team up to host the ceremony.
In 2009, Paisley released his American Saturday Night album. The first single off the album, "Then," became Paisley's 14th No. 1 hit. His next studio effort, This Is Country Music (2011), featured a duet with Underwood on "Remind Me," as well as a performance with the group Alabama on "Old Alabama."
With 2013's Wheelhouse, Paisley found himself under fire for the song "Accidental Racist." The album debuted at the top of the Billboard country charts, but it quickly lost momentum. In 2014, Paisley returned to more lighthearted country fare with Moonshine in the Trunk.
The summer of 2015 brought the news that Paisley would serve as a mentor for Blake Shelton's team on Season 9 of The Voice. Paisley also performed in a concert to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Grand Ole Opry, with footage scheduled to be released in a documentary at the end of the year.
In October 2016, Paisley unveiled a new song, "Today." It marked the first single from his 11th studio album, Love and War, which also featured collaborations with rock heavyweights Mick Jagger and John Fogerty.
Personal Life and Wife
Paisley met actress Kimberly Williams in 2001, after writing a song with lyrics about meeting her. He then made a video to accompany the single, and Williams agreed to appear. The couple married in 2003, and welcomed their first child, a son named William Huckleberry, in 2007. On April 17, 2009, they welcomed a second son, Jasper Warren Paisley.
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