Who is Brad Douglas Paisley ?
Who is Brad Douglas Paisley? The entertainment and Country Music World knows him as Brad Paisley as an American singer-songwriter and musician. His style crosses between traditional country music 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 chart, 16 of which have reached #1 with a record 10 consecutive singles reaching the top spot on the chart. On November 10, 2010, Paisley won the Entertainer of the Year award at the 44th annual CMA Awards.
Paisley was born on October 28, 1972 in Glen Dale, West Virginia to Douglas Edward “Doug” Paisley, who worked for the West Virginia Department of Transportation, and Sandra Jean “Sandy” (née Jarvis) Paisley, a teacher. He was raised in Glen Dale, West Virginia.
He has stated that his love of country music stems from his maternal
grandfather, Warren Jarvis, who gave Paisley his first guitar, a Sears Danelectro Silvertone
at 8-years-old and taught him how to play. At age 10, he performed for
the first time in public by singing in his church. He later recalled
that, “Pretty soon, I was performing at every Christmas party and
Mother’s Day event. The neat thing about a small town is that when you
want to be an artist, by golly, they’ll make you one”. At age 12, Paisley wrote his first song, entitled, “Born on Christmas Day”. He had been taking lessons with local guitarist Clarence “Hank” Goddard.
By age 13, Goddard and Paisley formed a band called “Brad Paisley and
the C-Notes”, with the addition of two of Paisley’s adult friends.
While in junior high, his principal heard him perform “Born On Christmas Day” and invited him to play at the local Rotary Club meeting. In attendance was Tom Miller, the program director of a radio station in Wheeling, West Virginia. Miller asked him if he would like to be a guest on Jamboree USA.
After his first performance, he was asked to become a member of the
show’s weekly lineup. For the next eight years, he opened for country
singers such as The Judds, Ricky Skaggs and George Jones. He would become the youngest person inducted into the Jamboree USA Hall of Fame. He also performed at the Jamboree in the Hills.
Paisley graduated from John Marshall High School in Glen Dale, West Virginia in 1991, studied for 2 years at West Liberty College (WV) and later was awarded a full-paid ASCAP scholarship to Belmont University, in Nashville, Tennessee (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; 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.
1999–2001: Who Needs Pictures
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.
also was a hit for Paisley off the debut album, reaching #1 on the U.S.
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. By February 2001, the
album was certified platinum.
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, Kansas. 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 He was 28 when he accepted the invitation, and was the youngest member ever to join. PBS did a 75th anniversary concert special, which saw Paisley pair up with Chely Wright and sing a song called Hard to Be a Husband, Hard to Be a Wife, and would be included on the album Backstage at the Opry, It would get a CMA nomination for Vocal Event of the Year.
2001–2003: Part II
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. The album stayed in the charts for more than
70 weeks and was certified platinum in August 2002. To support his
album, he toured the country as the opening act for Lonestar.
2003–2005: Mud on the Tires
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, American Idol, The Bachelorette and According to Jim, and included such celebrities as Jason Alexander, James 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 ninth 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. The album would be certified double platinum.
2005–2007: Time Well Wasted
In 2005, after touring with Reba McEntire and Terri Clark on the “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”).
2007–2008: 5th Gear
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, a cameo by Jason Alexander, and again featured a cameo by
William Shatner. Throttleneck would also reach number one, which would get Paisley his first Grammy.
The fifth single from 5th Gear actually came from a reissued version of the album – a new recording of “Waitin’ on a Woman“, a track 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 Jorgenson, 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.
2009–2010: American Saturday Night
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 6, 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 3 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
On Friday 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 overnight at an area hospital, but was released when a CT scan was negative.
On July 31, 2010 Brad performed alongside Carrie Underwood at the inaugural Greenbrier Classic
PGA Tour Event in Lewisburg, W.Va. An estimated 60,000 people attended
the outdoor event to watch Carrie and Brad perform in the pouring rain.
On August 4, 2010, it was announced on his official website that
Paisley would release his first official greatest hits package, entitled
Hits Alive. Released on November 2, 2010, Hits Alive
is a double-disc collection, with one disc containing studio versions
of Paisley’s hit singles, while the companion disc features previously
unreleased live versions of his songs.
Brad Paisley cohosted the 44th Annual CMA Awards on November 10,
2010, where he was also awarded the CMA’s top award, Entertainer of the
Year. During his acceptance speech, Paisley emotionally honored his grandfather, who inspired him to play the guitar.
In 2012, MSN.com listed American Saturday Night as one of the 21 Essential 21st-Century Albums.
2011-present: This Is Country Music
In December 2010, Paisley released “This Is Country Music” as the title track to his eighth studio album, released May 23, 2011. The album’s second single, “Old Alabama” (with Alabama), released to country radio on March 14, 2011 and became Paisley’s nineteenth number one hit. “Remind Me,” with Carrie Underwood, was released May 23, 2011 to radio.
On March 22, 2011, Paisley’s website announced a new beta game titled “Brad Paisley World.” The game is modeled after other Facebook games such as Farmville or Mafia Wars
and features original animation. The game provides a new way for fans
to interact with each other and view exclusive material that would
otherwise be unavailable.
On May 12, 2011, Paisley’s website announced that he would release two songs on the soundtrack for the film Cars 2. One of them would be a collaboration with British pop singer Robbie Williams.
On October 19, 2011, Paisley made a voice cameo as various background characters in the South Park episode “Bass to Mouth“. 
On January 14, 2012, Paisley was a guest on Garrison Keillor‘s Prairie Home Companion, during which he did a rendition of “Life’s Railway to Heaven” by Charles Davis Tillman.
Brad also tweeted that he has started recording his upcoming album.
On April 25, 2012, Paisley was featured on the South Park episode “Cartman Finds Love“, in which he voiced himself, sang “The National Anthem“, and helped Cartman sing the 90’s hit song “I Swear“, which was popularized in 1994 by the country musician John Michael Montgomery and the pop group All-4-One. 
Paisley extended his “Virtual Realty” tour throughout the summer of
2012. He will be touring the country and making pit stops at local
country music festivals. The goal of these outdoor concerts is to give
the audience the full experience of Brad Paisley’s music, as many of his
songs contain outdoor elements. 
- Brooks & Dunn’s Neon Circus & Wild West Show 2003
- Mud & Suds Tour 2004 (w/ Sara Evans, Andy Griggs)
- Two Hats & A Redhead Tour 2005 (w/ Reba McEntire, Terri Clark)
- Time Well Wasted Tour 2006 (w/ Sara Evans, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Jake Owen, Josh Turner, Billy Currington)
- Bonfires & Amplifiers Tour 2007–2008 (w/ Taylor Swift, Jack Ingram, Kellie Pickler, Rodney Atkins, Chuck Wicks)
- The Paisley Party Tour 2008 (w/ Chuck Wicks, Julianne Hough, Jewel)
- The Paisley Party Tour 2009 (w/ Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Crystal Shawanda)
- American Saturday Night Tour 2009 (w/ Dierks Bentley, Jimmy Wayne)
- American Saturday Night Tour 2010 (w/ Miranda Lambert, Justin Moore)
- The H2O Tour 2010 (w/ Darius Rucker, Justin Moore)
- The H2O Frozen Over Tour 2011 (w/ Darius Rucker, Jerrod Niemann)
- H2O II: Wetter and Wilder World Tour (w/ Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Jerrod Niemann)
|The Drama Kings taking a picture with a fan|
Paisley records his studio albums, in most part, with the backing of
his live band, The Drama Kings. Their first gig together was May 7,
1999. The only changes have been Randel Currie’s addition on the steel
guitar in 2000 and Jimmy Heffernan’s departure in 2001. Also, Jody
Harris worked as Paisley’s guitar tech until officially becoming a
bandmember for the American Saturday Night Tour. As of 2010, the lineup
- Brad Paisley – lead vocals, lead guitar
- Gary Hooker – rhythm guitar
- Randle Currie – steel guitar
- Kendal Marcy – keyboards, banjo, mandolin
- Justin Williamson – fiddle, mandolin
- Kenny Lewis – bass guitar
- Ben Sesar – drums
|Paisley and Chely Wright|
In the last months of 2000, Paisley had a relationship with fellow country music singer Chely Wright,
even though Wright and her female lover had moved together into a new
home earlier in the year. Wright was touring together with Paisley, with
whom she had co-written one song the previous year, and he had been
enamored of her ever since. Although she felt no sexual attraction to
Paisley, as to all men,
she recounts why Paisley was the man she decided to have a relationship
with, “he’s wickedly smart, which is one of the reasons why I made the
decision to spend time with him. I loved Brad. I never had the capacity
to fall in love with him, but I figured if I’m gonna live a less than
satisfied life, this is the guy I could live my life with. If I’m gonna
be with a boy, this is the boy.”
Her actions were further fueled by the fact that she held him in high
esteem and great affection in every way other than sexual attraction. In her autobiography she expresses remorse for how she treated him.
|Paisley and Kimberly Williams|
Paisley and Kimberly Williams began dating in 2001. Paisley had first seen Kimberly Williams in Father of the Bride with a former girlfriend. Brad and his former girlfriend broke up prior to the release of Father of the Bride Part II, which Brad went to see alone. Brad has stated 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.” In 2002, Williams appeared in a video for the song “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song),” 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.
Paisley and Williams 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 28, 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 former 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.
In late 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 for The CW network called, appropriately, Nashville. The plot was written and created by Neal Dodson and actor Matt Bomer. The creator of the series One Tree Hill, Mark Schwahn will direct the pilot and oversee the series. Actor Zachary Quinto is also an executive producer on the series, along with Dodson, Bomer, and Corey Moosa. The pilot was not picked up for a series when The CW’s fall schedule was announced in May 2010.
Paisley’s first guitar, a gift from his grandfather, was a Silvertone Danelectro 1451, which came with a “amp-in-case”. His next guitar, which he got at the age of 10 or 11, also from his grandfather, was a Sekova copy of a Gibson ES-335, with a Fender Deluxe Reverb. The instrument most often associated with him is a 1968 Pink Paisley Fender Telecaster.
Like many Nashville-based musicians, he lost a number of instruments and other gear in the 2010 flood in Nashville, including a 1970s Gibson Les Paul
and the prototype for a Z Wreck, one of the signature Paisley Dr. Z
amplifiers. The insurance money, however, allowed him to buy (from George Gruhn‘s store) an exclusive 1937 herringbone Martin D-28.
In 2010, Brad Paisley and Wampler Pedals released the Brad Paisley
signature Paisley Drive, a guitar overdrive pedal designed to the
specifications of Brad Paisley. Paisley has also used Audiotech Guitar Products ABY Selector’s for controlling his wireless receiver units. 
- Studio Albums
- 1999: Who Needs Pictures
- 2001: Part II
- 2003: Mud on the Tires
- 2005: Time Well Wasted
- 2006: Brad Paisley Christmas
- 2007: 5th Gear
- 2008: Play
- 2009: American Saturday Night
- 2011: This Is Country Music
- 2010: Hits Alive
- Academy of Country Music
- 1999 – Top New Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2004 – Vocal Event of the Year (“Whiskey Lullaby”)
- 2004 – Video of the Year (“Whiskey Lullaby”)
- 2005 – Album of the Year (“Time Well Wasted”)
- 2005 – Vocal Event of the Year (“When I Get Where I’m Going”)
- 2005 – Video of the Year (“When I Get Where I’m Going”)
- 2007 – Top Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2008 – Top Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2008 – Video of the Year (“Online”)
- 2009 – Video of the Year (“Waitin’ on a Woman”)
- 2009 – Vocal Event of the Year (“Start a Band”)
- 2009 – Top Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2010 – Top Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2011 – Top Male Vocalist of the Year
- Country Music Association Awards
- 2000 – Horizon Award
- 2001 – Vocal Event of the Year (“Too Country”)
- 2002 – Music Video of the Year (“I’m Gonna Miss Her”)
- 2004 – Musical Event of the Year (“Whiskey Lullaby”)
- 2004 – Music Video of the Year (“Whiskey Lullaby”)
- 2006 – Album of the Year (Time Well Wasted)
- 2006 – Musical Event of the Year (“When I Get Where I’m Going”)
- 2007 – Music Video of the Year (“Online” – director Jason Alexander)
- 2007 – Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2008 – Music Video of the Year (“Waitin’ on a Woman”)
- 2008 – Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2009 – Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2009 – Musical Event of the Year (“Start A Band” with Keith Urban)
- 2010 – Entertainer of the Year
- Grammy Awards
- 2008 – Best Country Instrumental Performance (“Throttleneck”)
- 2009 – Best Country Instrumental Performance (“Cluster Pluck”)
- 2009 – Best Male Country Vocal Performance (“Letter to Me”)
- Country Weekly Presents the TNN Music Awards
- 2000 – The Discovery Award
- 2000 – Song of the Year (“He Didn’t Have to Be”)
- 2000 – CMT Music Video of the Year (“He Didn’t Have to Be”)
- Flameworthy Awards/CMT Music Awards
- 2002 – Concept Video of the Year (“I’m Gonna Miss Her”)
- 2005 – Collaborative Video of the Year (“Whiskey Lullaby”)
- 2006 – Most Inspiring Video of the Year (“When I Get Where I’m Going”)
- 2008 – Comedy Video of the Year (“Online”)
- 2009 – CMT Performance of the Year (“Country Boy”)
- 2009 – Collaborative Video of the Year (“Start a Band”)
- 2009 – Male Video of the Year (“Waitin’ On a Woman”)
- 2012 – Collaborative Video of the Year (“Remind Me”)
- American Music Awards
- 2008 – Favorite Country Male Artist
- 2010 – Favorite Country Male Artist
- American Country Awards
- 2010 – Artist of the Year – Male
- 2011 – Artist of the Year – Male
- Orville H. Gibson Guitar Award
- 2002 – Best Country Guitarist (Male)
- Nashville Songwriters Association International Award
- 2002 – Songwriter/Artist of the Year
- 2005 – Songwriter/Artist of the Year
- ASCAP Country Music Award
- 2004 – Songwriter/Artist of the Year
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