Personalities | Brad Paisley | Taking Centre Stage | Guitar Heroes

Brad Paisley (b. 1972) is that rare country music star whose guitar-playing prowess equals his singing and songwriting talent. Paisley recorded five gold or platinum albums between 1999 and 2008 and had 10 No. 1 singles on the country charts. His guitar playing on those records proved him to be one of the most accomplished pickers in Nashville.

Brad Douglas Paisley was born in Glen Dale, West Virginia. His maternal grandfather gave Paisley his first guitar at the age of eight and taught him how to play. At the age of 12 Paisley wrote his first song, and by the age of 13, he was an opening act for country singers such as Ricky Skaggs and George Jones in West Virginia. Paisley later was awarded a music scholarship to Belmont University in Nashville. After graduating from Belmont, Paisley signed a songwriting contract with EMI Music Publishing. He wrote David Kersh’s Top 5 hit, ‘Another You’, as well as cuts by Tracy Byrd and David Ball.

In 1999 he had his first No. 1 hit, ‘He Didn’t Have To Be’. 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. In February 2001 Paisley was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

In 2002 he won the CMA Music Video Of The Year for ‘I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song)’. After his debut, Who Needs Pictures (1999), and Part II (2001), Paisley released his third album, Mud On The Tires (2003). The title track reached No. 1 in 2004. In 2005 he released Time Well Wasted, which contained the hit ‘Alcohol’.

In November 2006, the album Time Well Wasted won the Country Music Association Award for Best Album, and it won Album Of The Year at the 2006 ACM Awards.

Paisley’s guitar playing finally took centre stage in 2008, when he won his first Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental for ‘Throttleneck’. His album American Saturday Night was released in 2009. The album’s lead off single, ‘Then’ became Paisley’s 14th No. 1 single.

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