With 21 No. 1 hits to date, Brad Paisley has earned his cred in the country music industry. Since 1999, Paisley has released nine studio albums — and one Christmas compilation — with the aid of his backing band The Drama Kings. Kicking off his career as an opening act for artists including The Judds and Ricky Skaggs in his home state of West Virginia, Paisley — who received his first guitar at age 8 — inked a songwriting deal with EMI Publishing within a week of his graduation from Nashville’s Belmont University, where he studied tuition-free on an ASCAP scholarship.
Releasing his debut album, Who Needs Pictures, in 1999, Paisley was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2001 at age 28. Eight studio albums later, Paisley had toured and duetted with artists like Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton and Alan Jackson. Paisley’s third album, 2003’s Mud on the Tires, famously includes the track “Celebrity,” with the accompanying video parodying reality shows like American Idol and The Bachelorette.
The three-time Grammy winner sparked controversy in 2013 with his duet with LL Cool J called “Accidental Racist.” Offering opposing viewpoints on race and perceptions, the song caused a firestorm of controversy on Twitter, leading Paisley to defend his track and tell Entertainment Weekly the song was not a “stunt.”
Married to Father of the Bride and Nashville actress Kimberly Williams since 2003, Paisley has two sons: William Huckleberry and Jasper Warren.