Brad Douglas Paisley (born October 28, 1972) is an American country music singer-songwriter and guitarist. His style crosses between traditional country and Southern rock, and his songs are frequently laced with humor and pop culture references.
Paisley studied for 2 years at West Liberty University in West Virginia and later was awarded a full-paid ASCAP scholarship to Belmont University, in Nashville, Tennessee where he attended from 1993 to 1995. He interned at ASCAP, Atlantic Records, and the Fitzgerald-Hartley management firm. While in college, he met Frank Rogers, a fellow student who went on to serve as his producer. Paisley also met Kelley Lovelace, who became his songwriting partner. He also met Chris DuBois in college, and he too would write songs for him. After graduating from Belmont with a Bachelor's degree in music business, within a week Paisley signed a songwriting contract with EMI Music Publishing. Shortly after he wrote David Kersh's Top 5 Country hit, “Another You,” as well as David Ball's 1999 single, “Watching My Baby Not Come Back.”
His debut as a singer was with the label Arista Nashville, with the song “Who Needs Pictures” which was released in February 1999. In May of that same year, he made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Seven months later he had his first #1 Country hit with “He Didn't Have to Be.” “We Danced” also was a hit for Paisley off his debut album, reaching #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. By February 2001, the album was certified platinum and Paisley was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. He was 28 when he accepted the invitation, and was the youngest member ever to join.
Also in 2001, he received his first Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist and released his second album, “Part II.” The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard Country Albums chart where it stayed for 70 weeks and was certified platinum in August 2002. It produced four singles, “Two People Fell in Love” which peaked at #4, “Wrapped Around” which peaked at #2, “I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)” which peaked at #1 and “I Wish You'd Stay”, which reached #7 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
Paisley released his third album, “Mud on the Tires” in 2003. It went to #1 on the Country Albums chart and also reached #8 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The album produced four singles for Paisley. First was “Celebrity,” which peaked at #3 on the Country chart. Following it were the #2 “Little Moments” and the #3 “Whiskey Lullaby” in 2004. This latter song, a duet with Alison Krauss, was her first Top 40 Country hit since her guest vocal on Kenny Rogers' #1 hit “Buy Me a Rose” in 2000. The title track was the fourth and final release from this album. In February 2005, this song became Paisley's fourth #1 Country hit. The album would be certified double platinum.
In 2005, he released “Time Well Wasted,” which produced the singles “Alcohol,” “When I Get Where I'm Going,” “The World” and “She's Everything.” “Alcohol” was a #4 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, while the other three singles were all #1 hits. The album peaked at #1 on the Country Albums chart, #2 on the Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum. At the 2006 Grammy Awards, Paisley received four nominations for Best Country Album, for “Time Well Wasted,” Best Country Instrumental, for “Time Warp” and Best Country Song and Best Country Vocal for “Alcohol.”
Paisley's fifth studio album, “5th Gear,” was released in 2007, peaking atop the Country Albums chart and #3 on the Billboard 200. The first five singles from the platinum certified album, “Ticks,” “Online,” “Letter to Me” and “I'm Still a Guy,” all reached #1 on the Country Singles chart, making seven straight #1 hits for Paisley. “Online” featured the Brentwood High School marching band playing toward the end of the song. The fifth single from “5th Gear,” “Waitin' on a Woman,” became Paisley's 12th #1 single and his eighth straight #1 hit, making him the artist with the most consecutive #1 Country hits since the inception of Nielsen SoundScan in 1990. Paisley was nominated for three 2008 Grammy Awards related to “5th Gear,” for Best Country Album, Best Country Collaboration for “Oh Love” with Carrie Underwood and Best Country Instrumental for “Throttleneck.” In February 2008, he won his first Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental for “Throttleneck.”
A sixth, largely instrumental album, titled “Play,” was released in 2008, again peaking at #1 on the Country Albums chart and reaching #9 on the Billboard 200. Paisley and Keith Urban released to country radio their first duet together, “Start a Band.” It was the first and only single from “Play,” and it went on to become Paisley's 13th number #1 and his ninth in a row. The album also features collaborations with James Burton, Little Jimmy Dickens, Vince Gill, John Jorgensen, B.B. King, Albert Lee, Brent Mason, Buck Owens, Redd Volkaert and Steve Wariner.
Paisley's album, American Saturday Night was released in 2009, becoming his fifth consecutive #1 album on the Billboard Country Albums chart, while also peaking at #2 on the Billboard 200. The gold certified album's leadoff single, “Then” became Paisley's 14th #1 Country single and his 10th in a row.
Released in 2010, his first official greatest hits package “Hits Alive” was a double-disc collection, with one disc containing studio versions of Paisley's hit singles, while the companion disc featured previously unreleased live versions of his songs.
In December 2010, Paisley released “This Is Country Music” the title track to his studio album released in 2011, which peaked at #2 on the Country Songs chart. The album's second single, “Old Alabama” featured an appearance by the band Alabama and reached #1 on the Country Songs chart. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Country Albums charts.