Brad Paisley: Snapshot

Name
Brad Paisley
Date of Birth
October 28, 1972
Birth Place
Glen Dale, W.Va.
With more than 10 million albums sold, 10 No. 1 hits, a solid marriage to actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley and two cute sons running around at home, Brad Paisley has established himself as country music's most formidable neotraditionalists.

While other kids his age were listening to the radio, Paisley was already on it. Spending his teen years performing on the weekly radio show, "Jamboree USA", Paisley honed his skills as a singer, songwriter and guitar slinger. Within a week of graduating from Nashville's Belmont University, Paisley had a songwriting contract. Four years later, he released his first album, Who Needs Pictures, on which he wrote or cowrite all the songs and played guitar on every track. No wonder the West Virginia native emerged as the breakout country act in the summer of 1999 – and hasn't looked back.

Brad Paisley: Five Fun Facts

  1. Brad Paisley maintains veto power over his son Huck's wardrobe. He deemed one outfit his wife, Kimberly, bought for Huck as too "girly." "Brad made me take that back!" she told PEOPLE of the French outfit with black polka dots and white frills.
  2. Brad Paisley keeps his growing trophy collection at his parents' home. "I like winning awards," he told the Copley News Service. "I don't like reminders of the past all that much. Nor do I have time to dust or polish the statuettes, so my parents take care and display most of them at their house."
  3. Brad Paisley wore a black tuxedo with a lavender bow tie to his high school prom. "It was 1991," he later explained to the Washington Post.
  4. Brad Paisley's 6,500-sq-ft. log-cabin style home in Franklin, Tenn. features a handmade whiskey-barrel sink.
  5. The two-week-old baby in Brad Paisley's video for "He Didn't Have to Be" is Tim McGraw's nephew.

Brad Paisley: Biography

1980s

Brad Paisley

"Jamboree USA"

After getting his first guitar from his grandfather at 8 and writing his first song by 12, Paisley, 14, is a regular on "Jamboree USA," a country radio show in Wheeling, W.Va. "Doing the Jamboree is the thing that made me who I am," Paisley tells the AP in 1999. "It gave me a sense of entertainment value for a show as opposed to just wanting to sing and trying to imitate people." It also helped boost the self-esteem of a painfully shy Paisley, who later tells the Washington Post that he looked "semi-mulleted and malnourished" as a teenager.

1991

Brad Paisley

Meet n' Greet in Nashville

Paisley spends two years at West Liberty State College before transferring to Nashville's Belmont University, where he lands internships at ASCAP and Atlantic Records. A week after graduating from Belmont in 1995, Paisley lands a songwriting deal with EMI Publishing. He quickly scores a hit – and royalties – from David Kersch's recording of Paisley's song, "Another You."

late 1990s

Brad Paisley

Paisley Pays His Dues

"He knew who he was and what kind of artist he wanted to be, how he would look, what his music would sound like," Mike Dungan, who signs Paisley to Arista Records, tells the Los Angeles Times. In 1999, his debut album, Who Needs Pictures, is released. In 2000, he picks up the Academy of Country Music's award for best new male vocalist and Country Music Association's Horizon Award. "I'm tickled to get to do this," Paisley tells PEOPLE. "To tell people's stories for them. That's what country music is all about."

Read More on Brad Paisley's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Jim Shea

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Alan L. Mayor/WireImage

Edited by Julia Wang

Brad Paisley

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