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Winner, USA Network’s Nashville Star
Debut album, Patient Man
Brad grew up a Baptist preacher’s son in Opelika, Ala., and began singing at a young age. Having grown up in a Christian home, Brad gave his life to the Lord when he was 7, and rededicated his life when he was 19. His earliest memories include standing on the fireplace singing along with his parents’ records (including Elvis). By the time he was 9, Brad was performing on stage. A family friend who sang with the The Stamps Quartet, a '60s gospel great, arranged for Brad to perform during a week-long revival. Soon, Brad traveled the gospel circuit. Brad's father is still a Baptist preacher and serves as Brad’s tour manager.
Brad enjoyed several top-25 hits with five gospel albums, but his career was still less than profitable. Just before high school graduation, Brad quit the gospel scene. A few years later, Brad began performing again. This time, his choice of music was Southern rock and country. Brad and his friends mostly played cover tunes in bars around town. When friends questioned Brad on his switch from gospel to rock and country, Brad explained, “If I were a plumber, would I only work on churches, or would I go anywhere that needed their pipes fixed?” he says. “I’m a musician whether it’s at a wedding, a bar, a softball game, or whatever. I sing. That’s my job.” He played in a couple of bands before heading off to Nashville in 1993.
Things looked bright for Brad. He signed a development deal with RCA, but after recording six songs, his contract was dropped. Brad began the slow process of meeting and working with other songwriters, playing in clubs and delivering tapes on Music Row. For the next eight years, Brad made his living by singing demos for other songwriters. All the while, Brad, who plays piano, guitar, drums, and bass, kept writing songs and trying to land a record deal of his own. He was working through a deep depression and was just about to give up on his dream. Then came The Nashville Star.
The New Nashville Star
“I thought God had forgotten all about me,” says Brad. “I was crushed.” Brad reconciled himself to the reality that at the age of 32, he would probably never be an artist. He decided to pursue a full-time writing gig and perhaps a job singing on a cruise ship. But before he did, Brad stopped by The Nashville Star auditions. “I didn’t decide to audition until the last minute,” he says. “It was one of those desperate moves.” Brad had just pitched his fifth project in seven years and felt that anybody who was in a position to sign him had already passed him by. “I was done, literally,” says Brad. Then an amazing thing happened. Millions of Americans voted for him and Brad won. “I truly did not think this was possible,” he says. “I didn’t even vote for myself, not once, because I didn’t believe anyone actually counted the votes!”
Brad cashed in on his record deal and recorded Patient Man, which released July 2004. He recently broke the record set by last year’s Nashville Star winner, Buddy Jewell, for the highest chart debut by a new country artist. “I Meant To,” his first single that he co-wrote, entered the charts at 42. Brad got the inspiration for that song when he was late for a writing appointment. He apologized to the gentlemen at the meeting, saying, “I’m sorry. I meant to call you,” and he started thinking about all the things that he should really do in life before he dies. Brad, who has co-written dozens of songs, chose five of his best efforts for his debut record.
Brad is currently on a nationwide tour and enjoying a huge response from fans already familiar with his music. “After all this, I have to say, chase your dreams,” Brad says. “You’ve got one life. You have no choice but to wake up tomorrow, so you might as well go after what will make you happy.”
While on his tour, Brad is joining with the local American Red Cross in eight
cities to raise money for the disaster relief operations. This money will
provide food, water, shelter and other basic necessities to disaster victims.
Hurricane Ivan devastated his home state and other parts of the Gulf Coast.
“I just want to return the favor,” he says.
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.