Brad Douglas Paisley (born October 28, 1972) is an American country music singer-songwriter and country guitarist. His style crosses between traditional country and Southern rock, and his songs are frequently laced with humor and pop culture references.
Paisley was the 2008 CMA and ACM Male Vocalist of the Year winner. Starting with the release of his 1999 album Who Needs Pictures, Paisley has recorded seven studio albums and a Christmas compilation on the Arista Nashville label, with all of his albums certified gold or higher by the RIAA. In addition, he has charted 25 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, 14 of which have reached #1 with a record 10 consecutive singles reaching the top spot on the charts.
Paisley has stated that his love of country music stems from his maternal grandfather, Warren Jarvis, who gave Paisley his first guitar at 8-years-old and taught him how to play. At age 12, Paisley wrote his first song; and by age 13, he was an opening act for country singers such as The Judds, Ricky Skaggs and George Jones, at the Capital Music Hall, in Wheeling, West Virginia.
Paisley graduated from John Marshall High School, in Glen Dale, West Virginia, studied briefly at West Liberty University (WV) and later was awarded a full-paid ASCAP scholarship to Belmont University, in Nashville, Tennessee (from 1993 to 1995). 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.
After graduating from Belmont, Paisley signed a songwriting contract with EMI Music Publishing; and, he wrote David Kersh's "Top 5" hit, "Another You", as well as David Ball's 1999 single, "Watching My Baby Not Come Back." The latter song was also co-written by Ball.
His debut as a singer was with the label Arista Nashville, with the song "Who Needs Pictures" (released February 22, 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 hit with "He Didn't Have to Be," which detailed the story of Paisley's frequent co-writer Kelley Lovelace and Lovelace's stepson, McCain Merren.
In 2000, Paisley's mainstream notoriety received a huge boost when he was exposed to his first national non-country music oriented audience on the TLC special, "Route 66: Main Street America." Producer, Todd Baker, tapped the young musician to appear on this show when he was a relative unknown outside the world of country music. It featured Paisley and band doing rare live and acoustic versions of Route 66. The international and home video versions of this program end with a full, un-cut acoustic rendition of the piece, which was performed live on Rainbow Bridge in Riverton, KS. The show accurately predicted that Paisley would become a legendary musician, and also featured blues artist, Buddy Guy.
Later in 2000, Paisley won the Country Music Association's (CMA) Horizon Award and the Academy of Country Music's best new male vocalist trophy. He received his first Grammy Award nomination a year later for Best New Artist. On February 17, 2001, Paisley was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.
In 2002, he won the CMA Music Video of the Year for "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)." Several celebrities made notable guest appearances in the video, including Little Jimmy Dickens, Kimberly Williams, Dan Patrick, and Jerry Springer. His three other singles off the Part II album, "I Wish You'd Stay", "Wrapped Around", and "Two People Fell in Love", all charted in the top 10.
Paisley released his third album, Mud on the Tires (2003), following Who Needs Pictures and Part II. The album features the hit song "Celebrity," the video of which parodies reality shows such as Fear Factor and American Idol and The Bachelorette and According to Jim and included such celebrities as Jason Alexander, Jim Belushi, Little Jimmy Dickens, Trista Rehn, and William Shatner. (Paisley later contributed to Shatner's album Has Been.) The album's title track, "Mud on the Tires," reached Billboard #1 in 2004.
In addition, the third track from Mud on the Tires, Whiskey Lullaby, a duet with Alison Krauss reached #3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, and #41 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for Whiskey Lullaby also won several awards and was rated #2 on the 100 Greatest Music Videos by CMT in 2008.
In 2005, after touring with Reba McEntire and Terri Clark on the critically acclaimed "Two Hats and a Redhead Tour," he released Time Well Wasted, containing 15 tracks. This album includes "Alcohol," two duets — "When I Get Where I'm Going" with Dolly Parton and "Out in the Parking Lot" with Alan Jackson — and a bonus track, "Cornography." On November 6, 2006, the album "Time Well Wasted" won the Country Music Association CMA Award for Best Album. "Time Well Wasted" also won album of the year at the 2006 ACM Awards.
Paisley also contributed two original songs to the Disney film Cars. These can be found on the film's soundtrack. This was in recognition of his contribution to the "Route 66: Main Street America" television special.
At the 2006 Grammy Awards, Paisley received four nominations: Best Country Album (for Time Well Wasted), Best Country Song (for "Alcohol"), Best Country Instrumental (for "Time Warp") and Best Country Vocal, Male (for "Alcohol").
Paisley's fifth studio album, 5th Gear, was released in the United States on June 19, 2007. The first four singles from the album, "Ticks", "Online", "Letter to Me", and "I'm Still a Guy", all reached number one on the country music single charts, making seven straight number one hits for Paisley." "Online" featured the Brentwood High School marching band playing toward the end of the song.
The fifth single from 5th Gear actually came from a reissued version of the album - a new recording of "Waitin' on a Woman", an album cut from Time Well Wasted. The reissued version received unsolicited airplay in late 2006, and features less prominent string guitar and violin parts and a more "muted" musical tone. For the chart week of September 20, 2008, the song became Paisley's twelfth number-one single and his eighth straight number-one hit, making him the artist with the most consecutive Number One country hits since the inception of Nielsen SoundScan in 1990.
In July 2006, producer Todd Baker tapped Brad for a television appearance as an animated character in The Wonder Pets, Daddy Armadillo. The yet-to-be-broadcast episode features Brad's wife, Kimberly Williams, as Mama Armadillo.
Paisley toured April 26, 2007 through February 24, 2008 in support of 5th Gear on the Bonfires & Amplifiers Tour. The tour visited 94 cities over a 10 month period and played for over 1,000,000 fans. The tour was so successful that it was extended past its original end date to February 2008. Some of the opening acts who appeared during the tour were Taylor Swift, Kellie Pickler, Jack Ingram, Rodney Atkins and Chuck Wicks.
Paisley was nominated for three 2008 Grammy Awards related to 5th Gear: Best Country Album (for 5th Gear), Best Country Collaboration (for "Oh Love" with Carrie Underwood), and Best Country Instrumental (for "Throttleneck"). On February 10, 2008, he won his first Grammy award for Best Country Instrumental for "Throttleneck".
In March 2008, Brad Paisley announced his next tour, "The Paisley Party," a 42-date tour sponsored by Hershey's. The tour kicked off on June 11, 2008, in Albuquerque, New Mexico with Chuck Wicks, Julianne Hough and Jewel as the opening acts.
A sixth, largely instrumental album, titled Play, was released on November 4, 2008. Brad Paisley and Keith Urban released to country radio their first duet together on September 8, 2008, "Start a Band." It was the first and only single from Play, and it went on to become Paisley's thirteenth number one hit 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 and Urban both received Entertainer of the Year nominations from the CMA on September 10, 2008. On November 12, 2008 Brad Paisley won Male Vocalist of the Year and Music Video of the Year for "Waitin' on a Woman" during the CMA's.
Brad Paisley announced on January 26, 2009 his new tour named "American Saturday Night." Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne will be opening in the majority of the shows. Brad Paisley's newest album, American Saturday Night was released on June 30, 2009. The album's lead off single, "Then" was released in March 2009 and performed for the first time on American Idol on March 18. It went on to become Paisley's 14th number one single and his tenth in a row.
On May 6th, 2009, Paisley gave an exclusive performance to a small group of members from his fan club in Studio A of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN as he and his band taped an episode of CMT Invitation Only. The show gives fans a chance to see their favorite artists in a more intimate setting up close and personal. There was a Q & A session and interaction between Paisley and his fans. The show aired on Monday, August 3rd at 9:00 p.m. on CMT.
On July 21, 2009, Paisley performed at the White House in celebration of country music. " Country Music at the White House " was streamed live on the White House web-site as well as a special on Great American Country.
On November 11, 2009, Paisley co-hosted the CMA Awards for the second straight year. He also performed Welcome to the Future, and won both Male Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for Start a Band with Keith Urban.
On March 1, 2010, Paisley was the first musical performance with "American Saturday Night" for the second tenure of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
On Saturday March 5, 2010, Paisley slipped and fell performing his last song of the set, "Alcohol," at a concert at the North Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, South Carolina, on the final date of the American Saturday Night Tour. Fearing a broken rib, he was held over night at an area hospital, but was released when a CT scan was negative
Paisley had seen Father of the Bride with a former girlfriend. They broke up, but when Father of the Bride Part II was released, he went to see the sequel alone. He said that he watched Kimberly Williams' performance and "thought, She seems like a great girl — smart and funny and all those things that are so hard to find." Paisley wrote several songs on Part II about his former girlfriend, including one about going to see Father of the Bride, and when it was time to cast the video, Paisley thought of the girl in the movie.
In 2001, Paisley began dating Kimberly Williams. Williams appeared in a video for the song, "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)," in 2002, the last release from his Part II album. The two married on March 15, 2003, at Stauffer Chapel on the campus of Pepperdine University after a nine month engagement.
They live in Franklin, Tennessee, and have another home in Malibu.
Their first son, William Huckleberry, or, "Huck," was born on February 22, 2007, in Nashville, Tennessee. Their second son, Jasper Warren (named after his grandfather who bought Brad his first guitar), was born on April 17, 2009.
Paisley is a member of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, and a Noble of the AAONMS, also known as Shriners. He was accompanied by his father, Doug Paisley (32º), for the ceremony on October 28th, 2006.
He is also a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Browns. Paisley sang the national anthem before a game during the 1999 season, and stated in an interview, with ESPN his dream job would be to play football for them. He also invited Browns Quarterback Brady Quinn to a concert at the Blossom Music Center, in 2008.
Paisley is also a fan of West Virginia University athletics and the Boston Red Sox. He can even be seen occasionally on stage playing a custom guitar with the WVU logo and school colors or in a Red Sox shirt.
In fall of 2009, it was announced in Variety that Paisley would enter the world of scripted television as an executive producer of a new hour-long drama series called for The CW network, appropriately, Nashville. The pilot was written and created by Neal Dodson and Matt Bomer (an actor on the USA Network series, White Collar). The creator of the series One Tree Hill, Mark Schwahn will direct the pilot and oversee the series. Star Trek and Heroes actor Zachary Quinto is also an executive producer on the series, along with Dodson, Bomer, and Corey Moosa.