|Chicken Fried||The Foundation|| |
|Jump Right In||Greatest Hits So Far...|| |
|Toes||The Foundation|| |
|Sweet Annie||Uncaged|| |
|Colder Weather||You Get What You Give|| |
|Knee Deep (feat. Jimmy Buffett)||You Get What You Give|| |
|Goodbye In Her Eyes||Uncaged|| |
|Whatever It Is||The Foundation|| |
|Highway 20 Ride||The Foundation|| |
Over the life of his career, Chesney has been honored with numerous awards from the Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association, American Music Awards, Country Music Television, Billboard Music Awards, People's Choice Awards.
Chesney produced and co-directed a film for ESPN, The Boys Of Fall. Chesney has received six Academy of Country Music awards, as well as six Country Music Association awards. He is one of the most popular touring acts in country music, regularly selling out the venues in which he performs. His 2007 Flip-Flop Summer Tour was the highest-grossing country road trip of the year.
The Country Music Association honored Chesney with the Entertainer of the Year award in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
He released a solo R&B album, Back to Then, in 2002 on Hidden Beach Recordings but did not chart any singles from it. Six years later, Rucker signed to Capitol Records Nashville as a country music artist, releasing the album Learn to Live that year. Its first single, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It", made him the first black man to chart a number one on the Hot Country Songs charts since Charley Pride in 1983. It was followed by two more number-one singles, "It Won't Be Like This for Long" and "Alright" and the number three "History in the Making".
Bentley's studio albums have accounted for eighteen singles on the country singles chart, of which twelve have reached No. 1: his debut single "What Was I Thinkin'", as well as "Come a Little Closer", "Settle for a Slowdown", "Every Mile a Memory", "Free and Easy", "Feel That Fire", "Sideways", "Am I the Only One", "Home", "5-1-5-0", "I Hold On", and "Drunk on a Plane". Four more of his singles have reached the Top 5.
Starting with his 1999 debut album, Who Needs Pictures, Paisley has released 10 studio albums and a Christmas compilation on the Arista Nashville label, with all of his albums certified Gold or higher by the RIAA. As of late 2014, Paisley has scored 32 Top 10 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 18 of which have reached No. 1. He holds the record of most consecutive singles – eight – reaching the top spot on that chart.
Paisley has sold over 12 million albums and won three Grammy Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards, two American Music Awards and has earned country music's crowning achievement, becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Of his singles, twelve have reached number one on the Hot Country Songs or Country Airplay charts: "Why", "She's Country", "Big Green Tractor", "The Truth", "Don't You Wanna Stay", "Dirt Road Anthem", "Fly Over States", "Take a Little Ride", "The Only Way I Know", "Night Train", "When She Says Baby" and "Burnin' It Down". Eight more of those singles have reached the Top 10 on the same charts.
McGraw has released thirteen studio albums: eleven for Curb Records and two for Big Machine Records. Ten of his albums have reached number 1 on the Top Country Albums charts, with his 1994 breakthrough album Not a Moment Too Soon being the top country album of 1994. These albums have produced over 50 singles, of which 25 have reached number 1 on the Hot Country Songs or Country Airplay charts. Three of his singles — "It's Your Love", "Just to See You Smile", and "Live Like You Were Dying" — were the top country songs of 1997, 1998, and 2004 respectively. He has also won three Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music awards, 11 Country Music Association awards, 10 American Music Awards, and three People's Choice Awards. His Soul2Soul II Tour with Faith Hill is the highest grossing tour in country music history, and one of the Top 5 among all genres of music.
His second and third albums, 2003's The Dreamer and 2004's Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill, were each certified gold as well. His fourth album, Pure BS, was re-issued in 2008 with a cover of Michael Bublé's pop hit "Home" as one of the bonus tracks. fifth album, Startin' Fires, which had an appearance by his then-girlfriend Miranda Lambert, was released in November 2008. It was followed by the extended plays Hillbilly Bone and All About Tonight in 2010, and the albums Red River Blue in 2011. Based on a True Story... in 2013, and Bringing Back the Sunshine in 2014. Overall, Blake Shelton has charted 24 country singles, including 11 number ones.
Signed to Mercury Nashville Records in 2003, he has released five studio albums for the label: 2003's Billy Currington, 2005's Doin' Somethin' Right, 2008's Little Bit of Everything, 2010's Enjoy Yourself, and 2013's We Are Tonight.
These five albums have produced ten singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, including eight No. 1 hits "Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right", "Good Directions", "People Are Crazy", "That's How Country Boys Roll", "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer", "Let Me Down Easy", "Hey Girl", and "We Are Tonight". He has also charted as a duet partner on Shania Twain's single "Party for Two" and his own non-album single "Tangled Up", for a total of eleven Top 40 hits.
At the same time, a small fraction of songs in his prolific catalog lead some to fervently politicize him despite a generally apolitical public stance. Whatever the causes, too often the descriptions applied to Toby Keith obscure the fundamental root of his success: Songwriting. Fortunately, time has a way of clearing those clouds, leaving hope that someday he will be known primarily and rightly as one of the finest popular songwriters of any era in any genre. That outcome is only possible, however, precisely because he has never lost that focus, never been distracted by the ups or the downs.
When his career could barely be called that, Toby Keith wrote songs. Struggling with a former label and fighting to regain a grip on his career, he wrote songs. Peppered with unwarranted criticism, he wrote songs. Showered with praise and awards, he wrote songs. And in many ways, it all goes back to a woman named Clancy, a club she owned and a grandson whose teenage summers there sparked a flame that has yet to even flicker.
The title track of Clancy's Tavern is almost a prequel to Toby's 2005 hit "Honkytonk U." "It's the same grandmother," he explains. "'Honkytonk U' talked about my mother putting me on a Greyhound and sending me to live with my grandmother for the summer, and how things took off from there. This one is more about the bar and what I saw there. The actual name of the place was Billy Garner's Supper Club, but her husband teased her and nicknamed her Clancy because she ran a tavern. Every line in the song is true. This isn't fiction."
Like each album before it, Clancy's Tavern documents the continuing and seemingly inevitable growth of Keith's skills as singer and producer, certainly, but even more as a writer. Consider the songs you won't hear on Clancy's Tavern: "Blue Enough (To Break A Heart In Two)," "Another She Ain't You," "Didn't Forever Get Here Fast?" and "Rattle Can Red." Well, they're actually not songs, just bits and pieces of lyrics from an artist whose gift for language and melody is so well-developed, his songs beget ideas and phrases that in themselves could be fully formed songs.
"That comes with writing your whole life if you stay after it," Toby says. "Sometimes when I write with guys who've been around longer than me they'll say, 'You're gonna have to give me a bit to get my chops up.' They might feel slow for the first day or two while they try to get in the groove. But I write all the time. I've never quit writing since I was 14 – haven't eased up one day. If I took off next year, stayed home and did nothing, I would still be writing."
Call it discipline, passion, obsession or all three, but that consistency is perhaps the greatest not-so-secret key to Keith's multi-faceted success. It makes the tours, albums, and related endeavors possible. "If you were a homebuilder and looked at the houses you built when you were 20 and looked at the ones you build today, you'd see they were much better – even than ones you were building five or six years ago. As a songwriter, your system gets better. Your vocabulary gets bigger. Everything that would help a songwriter increases. Plus, you live longer and have more time to stumble on good ideas."
Keith's creative process is well documented. In addition to his habit of recording song ideas on his phone, his co-writing efforts are ingrained in his annual schedule. "I have three or four guys I write with who come out on the road," he says. "There's an occasional person who comes once, but Rivers Rutherford usually comes out a couple weekends a year. Bobby Pinson and I are together probably 50 days a year. Scotty Emerick still comes around about two weekends and we do the two weeks together overseas on the USO Tour and have time to write there. Actually, 'Chillaxin' was written on a bus during a two-day stop in South Korea on our way to Afghanistan."
Each year's batch routinely yields more songs than Keith can use. Three of Clancy's Tavern's cuts – "Club Zydeco Moon," "I Won't Let You Down" and "I Need To Hear A Country Song" – were written for 2010's Bullets In The Gun. Three songs from the 2011 writing sessions will appear on Keith's next album.
"For the last decade, we've put out a single from a new album when we go on tour in the summer," Keith explains. "The album comes out in October, you get a couple more singles and we start over."
Saying “we” is no self-conscious affectation coming from Keith's mouth. In fact, one of the more interesting paradoxes of his artistry is the extent to which he is the central creative force on all levels but also highly collaborative. His familiar family of co-writers are only part of the story. Longtime engineer Mills Logan is regularly referred to as "my ears in the studio." Session musicians including Kenny Greenberg, who is also the bandleader for Keith's Incognito Bandito club shows, are encouraged to contribute in a best-idea-wins environment. Even this album's sole outside cut is testament to this almost communal approach.
"I don't remember who played it for me the first time, but it was so stupid I just died laughing," Toby says of "Red Solo Cup," which was written by Brett and Jim Beavers with Brad and Brett Warren. "What's great about this song is it does everybody the same way it did me: 'That's the stupidest song in the world and I can't get it out of my head.' I laugh every time I hear it. Sometimes it's good for the world to hear something like that.
"When I decided to record it, I called up the Warren brothers and the Beaver brothers. They wrote it and this song is real typical of those knuckleheads. But I didn't want to make this song my version of what they wrote. I wanted to make them part of it – record their song with them. We brought them in when we cut it, to play and sing background, so it really sounds like them." Sure enough, every note on the track is courtesy of the four co-writers and Keith.
Another indication of Keith's expansive mindset is the growing role of Bobby Pinson, who gets a "Wrangler-Producer" credit on Clancy's Tavern. "When we're tracking I'm always cutting the scratch vocal and all I hear is what's in my headset monitors. For years I've had Mills Logan behind the board and really relied on him, and he does a great job.
"When I write with Bobby, he says to call him when I cut his song because he wants to be there. He does a lot of producing and he'll say, 'I don't want to step on your toes or anything, I just want to be your other ears in here.' I never mind a songwriter coming in. They were there when we wrote the song and want it to sound as good as I do. Scotty comes in when we cut one of his songs, and that kind of input really adds to it.
"And if I write a song by myself, I'd usually cut it by myself. But Bobby was around so much that I started asking him what he thought sounded good on a song I wrote. He made a suggestion, we tried it and it didn't work. He suggested something else and it worked. He was in the control room on the talk back and I started firing ideas at him. He said he didn't want to produce the record or get any money for it, but he'd love to have some input when he's around. He may not show up every day, but days he's there he might run with it. It's pretty much two good friends beating and banging it out.
"When we did the credits I didn't know how to label him. I know one thing: he's a good wrangler, because that's what he did with it. So that's how we came up with that."
Even the album's chart-topping first single "Made In America" – wildly popular with fans and easily lumped into the jingoistic caricature by critics – reveals the unwavering honesty Keith brings to his music. "I've done so much patriotic stuff that I have people sending me and bringing me those kinds of ideas daily," he says. "And when I hear most of this stuff it's like, I've already done that. I've already done my warrior song – 'American Soldier.' I've already done my battle cry – 'Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue.' I've already done my fun uptempo – 'American Ride.' Then Bobby showed up here a couple summers ago and said he knows I get tired of hearing it, but he had one America idea he wanted to write.
"We got to talking about how when we were kids, if your car broke down your dad could take a wrench, WD40, bailing wire and a screw driver and about fix it. We jumped on that, started writing. I just couldn't get past thinking that my old man was that old man." If the song rings true, regardless of the perceptions, Keith is compelled to let it lead. And that devotion to truth is also manifested in his live performances.
Four songs from the 2010 Incognito Bandito show at New York's Fillmore are bundled with a deluxe edition of Clancy's Tavern. Again, Keith's honesty rears up: "He's courageous," bandleader Kenny Greenberg recently told a Nashville songwriter of the tracks. And the accomplished studio musician would certainly be one to know that one of the first rules of putting live music on record is to clean up the mistakes. But Keith wasn't having it.
"People put so much work into an album to make it the best it can be, but we don't do jack to the Bandito stuff," Keith says. "We let them go exposed – no overdubs, no vocals, nothing. We take live tracks, Mills does a mix on them and we stick them on the album. That's exactly the way they sounded that night, except the mix is perfect."
He trusts the performance, he certainly trusts the songs and, ultimately, he trusts the music. For those reasons and those reasons alone, Clancy's Tavern will be another in a long line of successes. And somewhere, Toby Keith, undistracted, is writing another song.
Still signed to Capitol, Urban made his solo American debut in 1999 with the album Keith Urban. Certified platinum in the US, it produced his first Number One on Hot Country Songs with "But for the Grace of God". "Somebody Like You", the first single from his second Capitol album, Golden Road, was named by Billboard as the biggest country hit of the 2000–2010 decade. The album's fourth single, "You'll Think of Me", earned him his first Grammy. 2004's Be Here, his third American album, produced three more number 1 singles, and became his highest-selling album, earning 4× Platinum certification.
Owen has also toured as an opening act for several other country artists, including Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Little Big Town, Sugarland, Keith Urban, and Jason Aldean.
After winning, he was signed to RCA Records Nashville, releasing his self-titled debut album that same year. It produced two singles on Hot Country Songs: "Drinkin' Me Lonely" and "You're Gonna Love Me". A second album, The Man I Want to Be, was released September 1, 2009. It included the singles "Voices", "Gettin' You Home", and the title track, which all went to number 1. Young's third album, Neon, produced two more number ones in Tomorrow" and "You" in 2011 as well as the Top 20 hit "I Can Take It from There" in 2012. Its follow-up, 2013's A.M., produced the Top 5 hits "Aw Naw" and "Who I Am with You" and "Lonely Eyes".