Member Since 2001
In the years since his first album was released, Brad Paisley has seen all of his CDs sell millions, has had a string of singles top the charts, has racked up country music award after award, and has filled arenas during live shows. And by his choice, Brad is also a frequent—and versatile—performer on the Opry stage.
When Brad was inducted as an Opry member in 2001, a letter from George Jones was read to the crowd that said in part, “I am counting on you to carry on the tradition—and make folks sit up and listen to what good country music should sound like.”
Brad very much has lived up to that assigned mission with records—and memorable, award-winning videos that follow them—from pointed satire in “Celebrity” to the heart-tugging “Who Needs Pictures,” the rambunctious “Mud on the Tires,” and the shattering “Whiskey Lullaby” duet with Alison Krauss.
Brad’s hit albums feature a heavy percentage of original songs topped off with ear-catching instrumentals. His songwriting talent is such that when his comical “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)” was momentarily shopped around Nashville, Alan Jackson, George Strait, and Garth Brooks all expressed interest. (Brad decided to keep that one for himself, of course.) His guitar-playing skills, regularly on display at the Opry, could keep him working constantly on that account alone.
Born in 1972 in tiny Glen Dale, West Virginia, Brad’s earliest memory, he’s said, is of his railroad worker grandfather, a fan of Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Les Paul, playing guitar. That same granddad gave him his first guitar at age eight. By 10 he was performing, and by 13 he was a regular on the celebrated Saturday night Jamboree USA radio show at Wheeling’s WWVA, becoming the youngest person ever inducted into the Jamboree Hall of Fame. There he began to meet country music and Opry veterans. While still in his teens, Brad opened shows for such Opry legends and personal favorites as Roy Clark, Jack Greene, and Little Jimmy Dickens.
He would have a songwriting deal at EMI Music Publishing within a week of graduating from Belmont University’s music business program. Nashville demos on which he began to appear led to his signing by Arista Records. Some 40 Opry appearances followed before the night he was surprised by the early invitation to join the cast. The rest is ongoing history.
Brad has since seen several singles reach number one including "Ticks," "Online," "Start A Band" (a duet with Keith Urban), "Then," and "Welcome To The Future." The thing that is most important to Brad is his family, which has doubled in size in the past couple of years with first son, William Huckleberry, in 2007 and the newest addition to the Paisley brood, Jasper Warren.
Brad’s ninth studio album is titled This Is Country Music in heartfelt homage to the music this singer/songwriter/guitar virtuoso’s loved since childhood. Brad’s well-documented march toward stardom has been an inclusive journey that has taken many of his heroes with him along the way. If ever an artist has earned the right to title an album This Is Country Music, it’s Brad Paisley. He’s the Country Music Association’s reigning Entertainer of the Year and his H2O Tour was 2010’s top country trek in attendance. In all, he’s sold more than 12 million albums and scored 18 #1 hits at country radio. He’s won 14 CMA Awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year three times and the record-setting five consecutive Academy of Country Music Male Vocalist honors that count among his 14 ACM wins.