Brad Douglas Paisley (born October 28, 1972) is 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 Wheeling, 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 University (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.
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.