Born in Texas in 1957, Lyle Lovett released his self-titled debut album in 1986 to excellent reviews. Five singles from that album made it onto the country charts, but Lovett wasn't satisfied within the traditional confines of country music. He continued to experiment in jazz, folk and pop within the country framework and he has won several Grammy Awards since his first in 1989 for Lyle Lovett and His Large Band.
Lyle Lovett was born Lyle Pearce Lovett on November 1, 1957, in Klein, Texas. The only child of Bernell and Bill Lovett, Lyle grew up on his family's horse ranch in Klein, Texas, a small Houston suburb named after his grandfather. In 1975, after graduating from high school a semester early, Lovett enrolled at Texas A&M University. He graduated seven years later with degrees in both German and Journalism. While in college, Lovett started writing his own music, playing in coffee houses and even at a local pizza parlor called Mr. Gatti's. In 1979, he left Texas to study abroad in Rothenburg, Germany. There, he met a local country musician called Buffalo Wayne, who included Lovett in a country-western themed event in Luxemburg in 1983.
Lovett signed with the label in 1986 and released his self-titled debut album later that year, to excellent reviews. Five singles from that album made it onto the country charts. But Lovett wasn't satisfied within the traditional confines of country music. He continued to experiment in jazz, folk and pop within the country framework. Pontiac, Lyle Lovett's second album, showcased this sound and eventually went gold.
Though mainstream recognition has eluded him, Lovett has earned a cult following around the world with a modern, eccentric sound coupled with literate, witty lyrics. In 1989, he won a Grammy for Best Male Vocalist for the album Lyle Lovett and His Large Band. The Large Band referred to a horn section and several backup singers, including Francine Reed, without whom some fans feel a Lyle Lovett concert is incomplete.
Joshua Judges Ruth, released in 1992, was his first album recorded in California, rather than Nashville where he was failing to live up to his country star expectations. He won a second Grammy for his 1993 duet with Al Green, Funny How Time Slips Away and a third for 1994's Blues for Dixie, recorded as a tribute to Texas swing pioneer Bob Wills.
After Lovett relocated to Los Angeles, he began to make inroads into several other aspects of the entertainment business, including producing albums, making guest appearances and appearing in Robert Altman's critically acclaimed films, The Player and Short Cuts. In 1994, Lovett released I Love Everybody, which was only a mild success.
Two years passed before Lovett released his next album, The Road to Ensenada, which debuted at No. 4 on the country charts. The album featured an upbeat Texas feel with elements of bossa nova, Cajun and honky-tonk, and was hailed by critics as his most accessible album todate. Throughout his career, Lovett demonstrated a preference for releasing albums rather than the singles that are the staple of today'scountry market, building a loyal following among alternative countryand rock fans.
In 1993, Lyle Lovett hit the spotlight with a surprise marriage to actress Julia Roberts. The couple divorced in the spring of 1995.
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