Joe Nichols

Joe Nichols

Joe Nichols was born in Rogers, Ark., on Nov. 26, 1976. His father drove a truck but also played bass and sang. Nichols would hear and watch his dad perform at VFW dates. Like Nichols' grandfather and uncles, his dad played classic country music.

At 19, Nichols secured a record deal on Intersound Records before the label folded. After that, he endured the usual round of Nashville jobs that most aspiring young country singers hold down, from moving furniture to installing cable TV systems to selling steaks door to door. In 1999, he met studio guitarist Brent Rowan, who ultimately produced Nichols' 2002 album Man With a Memory, the first project from the Universal South imprint. Nichols and the song "The Impossible" earned a total of three Grammy nominations and "Brokenheartsville" hit No. 1.

Even as "The Impossible" was taking off, Nichols played the Grand Ole Opry every available Saturday night. A few days after his father passed away in 2002, Nichols performed the Merle Haggard classic "Footlights" on the Opry. Alan Jackson invited Nichols to open selected shows on his 2003 tour, the same year he won the the CMA Horizon award.

In 2004, he issued his second album, Revelation, which offered two Top 10 hits ("If Nobody Believed in You" and "What's a Guy Gotta Do"). He also released A Traditional Christmas at the end of the year.

His career received a boost in the summer of 2005 when the memorable single "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" found favor at country radio. As a result, his album, III, was quickly certified gold.