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Biography: Mark Chesnutt

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With eight #1 singles under his belt, Mark Chesnutt's traditional style has made him a Texas country icon!

 

Mark Chesnutt was born in the fall of 1963.

 

Chesnutt grew up in Beaumont, Texas, raised by his parents Bob and Norma Jean.  As a child, he learned that Beaumont had been the hometown of several world-famous musicians including George Jones, Johnny Winter, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.  Bob, a used-car salesman during the day, was a popular local singer at night and the young Mark grew up playing with him and borrowing his extensive collection of country records.  By the time he was 15, Chesnutt could play guitar and drums as well as sing.  By 17, the future superstar would be taking trips to Nashville to record his own material.

 

A young Chesnutt dropped out of school to pursue a life in music.  He did eventually finish his education, but the "life in music" thing worked out pretty well for him.

 

Chesnutt spent the '80s paying his dues at bars and honky-tonks across Texas.  He would release singles, and eventually an album called Doing My Country Thing, through local labels like Axbar Records out of San Antonio.  He could often be found headlining at the Cutters nightclub in Beaumont where he would play with Tracy Byrd, who would also go on to top the Billboard charts.  By the end of the decade, his popularity was enough that he was able to strike a record deal with MCA Records.  Too Cold at Home would be released shortly after his 27th birthday in 1990 and shot up to #12 on the US Country Charts.  It included five top ten singles (including his first #1 hit, "Brother Jukebox") and would go platinum.  The years of hard work were finally starting to pay off.

 

The release of Chesnutt's second album instantly made him one of the biggest names in country music.

 

1992 was a big year for Chesnutt.  Under pressure to come up with an album that would surpass Too Cold, he knocked it out of the park with his Longnecks & Short Stories.  His third album, charting at #9 and also going platinum, would have four singles that would climb into the US Country Top 5, including the #1 "I'll Think of Something".  Meanwhile, he married the love of his life, Tracie, to whom he is still married to this day!  Another album, Almost Goodbye, would be released in 1993 and would go platinum as well.  Peaking at #6 on the Country Charts and #43 on the Hot 100, it is considered by many to be Chesnutt's greatest work.  Incredibly, Almost Goodbye would have three #1 hit singles: "It Sure Is Monday", "Almost Goodbye", and "I Just Wanted You to Know".

 

Mark Chesnutt has released, to date, 14 studio albums and over 40 singles.

 

After three platinum records in a row, Chesnutt and MCA Records parted ways.  Chesnutt signed with Decca Records and released What a Way to Live in 1994.  Although not quite as popular as his earlier work, the album nonetheless charted at #15, had three top ten singles (including the #1 "Gonna Get a Life"), and was certified gold.  The following year, Chesnutt would become the flagship artist for the newly established Decca Nashville and the album Wings would be released.  Charting at #24, it would be Chesnutt's first album since joining MCA that would not be certified a precious metal or include a #1 single.  A greatest hits record would be released in 1996 that would go platinum.  The record, simply called Greatest Hits, would feature two new top ten singles - one of which (called "It's a Little Too Late") that would hit #1.

 

The last album with Decca Nashville, I Don't Want to Miss a Thing would peak at #6 and include Chesnutt's last #1 hit single, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing".

 

1997 would see the release of Thank God for Believers.  Topping out at #25, the album's title track would climb to #2 on the charts.  The nineties would see one last Chesnutt album, I Don't Want to Miss a Thing.  Sadly, although the record would be considered a critical success, its sales did not meet expectations and Decca Nashville closed its country division.  Even so, eight #1 singles in a decade cemented Chesnutt's reputation as one of the most successful country artists of the 1990s.

 

A lifetime of live performances have paid off - Chesnutt continues to regularly play across the United States and abroad.

 

Since the start of the new millennium, Chesnutt has released six studio albums, one live album, and seventeen singles.  Although there would be no more top ten albums or singles, Chesnutt's loyal fans continued to come out and see him in person whenever they got the chance - his live shows have reportedly only improved with time.  You can find a list of his upcoming shows here at his official website.

 

Discography:

(1988) Doing My Country Thing

(1990) Too Cold at Home - #12

(1992) Longnecks & Short Stories - #9

(1993) Almost Goodbye - #6

(1994) What a Way to Live - #15

(1995) Wings - #24

(1996) Greatest Hits - #18

(1997) Thank God for Believers - #25

(1999) I Don't Want to Miss a Thing - #6

(2000) Lost in the Feeling - #53

(2002) Mark Chesnutt - #23

(2004) Savin' the Honky Tonk - #23

(2006) Heard It in a Love Song

(2008) Rollin' with the Flow - #35

(2010) Outlaw - #42

(2011) Live from the Big D

 

Songs on KBEC 1390:

"Almost Goodbye" - #1

"Broken Promise Land" - #10

"Brother Jukebox" - #1

"Bubba Shot the Jukebox" - #4

"Down in Tennessee" - #23

"Fallin' Never Felt So Good" - #52

"Goin' Through the Big D" - #2

"Gonna Get a Life" - #1

"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" - #1

"I Just Wanted You to Know" - #1

"I Might Even Quit Lovin' You" - #18

"I Want My Baby Back" - #47

"I'll Think of Something" - #1

"I'm In Love with a Married Woman" - #48

"It Sure Is Monday" - #1

"It Wouldn't Hurt to Have Wings" - #7

"It's a Little Too Late" - #1

"Let It Rain" - #8

"Ol' Country" - #4

"Old Flames Have New Names" - #5

"She Dreams" - #6

"She Was" - #11

"Thank God for Believers" - #2

"This Heartache Never Sleeps" - #17

"Too Cold at Home" - #3

"Trouble" - #18

"Wherever You Are" - #45

"Your Love is a Miracle" - #3