Country singer Brad Paisley is a Grammy Award-winning country music artist, singer and songwriter as well as a virtuoso guitarist. With a unique style that’s a cross between traditional country and “pop rock”, his songs are pop culture reference heavy and frequently quite comical.
Paisley released his first album, Who Needs Pictures, in 1999 and since then has recorded 7 albums in total as well as a compilation of Christmas music, all of which have been released under the Arista Nashville label. All of those albums have also been certified gold or higher and 24 of his singles have made the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Not only were 14 of those songs the #1 on the charts, but numbers 1 through 10 were consecutive #1 hits.
The country star has always said that his love of country music came from his grandfather, Warren Jarvis, the man who not only gave young Brad his first guitar when he was eight but also taught him how to play it. When he was still a preteen at age 12, he had already written his first song and, when he turned 13, he was opening shows for George Jones, The Judds, Ricky Skaggs and other musicians in West Virginia at the Capital Music Hall in the city of Wheeling.
After graduating from high school Paisley had a brief stint at West Liberty State College and, from there, he went to Belmont University in Nashville on a fully paid ASCAP Scholarship. Two of the most influential people in his life were also students there at the same time, and Kelly Lovelace became his songwriting partner while Frank Rogers became his producer.
It wasn’t long after graduating college that Paisley started working for EMI Music Publishing under a songwriting contract with them. His first hit, Another You, made it to the top five with singer David Kersch. He also had another hit single with David Ball as a cowriter called Watching My Baby Not Come Back.
It was in February 1999 that Paisley released his first recording under the Arista Nashville label, a song called Who Needs Pictures. Later that year he made his very first appearance on the Grand Old Opry and, seven months after that, the song He Didn’t Have to Be became his very first #1 hit.
Things really started to heat up for Paisley in 2000 when he was featured on a TLC TV special “Route 66: Main Street America”. At the time Paisley was a relative unknown outside of country music and the show featured he and his band performing a rare acoustic version of Route 66 on Rainbow Bridge in Riverton, Kansas. At the time of its filming, it was predicted that he would become a legendary musician and that prediction, obviously, came true.
In fact, it came true later that year when he won the Horizon Award as well as the Academy of Country Music’s Best New Male Vocalist trophy. In 2001 Paisley also was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards and inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.