Country music star Currington to entertain Sprint Cup crowd
Georgia native has
seen his career take off since 2003
(June 2013) – While still in high school, country music singer Billy Currington auditioned for a spot at the Opryland theme park in Nashville, Tenn. He failed the audition, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream of a career in country music.
Having come full circle from his early days of trying to make it as a country music star, Currington will perform at the pre-race concert June 29 at the Kentucky Speedway prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ “Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts.” His act will take place at 5:15 p.m. as a special infield concert presented by Kroger. The concert is free to Speedway fans attending the race.
Billy Currington has won
several music awards and landed many No. 1 hits in recent years.
Born in Savannah, Ga., Currington was a junior at Effingham County High School when he auditioned for the renowned country music theme park. After graduating, he moved to Nashville to pursue a career in country music. But things didn’t take off as fast as he would have liked them to, so he took day jobs working for a concrete company and as a personal trainer.
He did manage to get a break with the latter job. One of his clients suggested he record demo tapes as well as write songs. This led to him having cuts by such well-known country superstars as George Strait, Tracy Byrd and Marty Raybon.
Currington, 39, has earned a reputation as a hard-working entertainer who puts all he’s got into every show. He has performed several times at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, a building he helped construct while pursuing his musical dreams.
He came close to being offered a contract by RCA Records but ended up signing with Mercury Records in 2003. That year he released his self-titled album and his first single, “Walk a Little Straighter,” which went to No. 8 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
This song was about the relationship he had with his alcoholic stepfather. It included a chorus Currington wrote when he was 12. The success of this song helped establish him as a major country music performer in Nashville.
From this album, Currington released his second single, “I Got a Feelin.” This song got him into the top five on the country charts. His third consecutive top-10 hit was “Party for Two,” a duet with Shania Twain released in late 2004. It appeared on Twain’s Greatest Hits album.
In 2005, Currington was nominated for an Academy of Country Music award and a Country Music Association award for “Party of Two.” He released his second album, “Doin’ Somethin’ Right,” in 2005. This album peaked at No. 2 on the Top Country Albums chart and at No. 11 on the Billboard 200.
He was quickly becoming popular with fans as one nomination followed another. In 2006 he was nominated for Top New Male Vocalist at the ACMS. He won the “Hottest Video of the Year” trophy at the fan-voted 2006 CMT Music Awards for his single, “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right.”
The single went to No. 1, followed by “Why, Why, Why,” which made it to No. 13. Another No. 1 hit came his way with “Good Directions.” This song was co-written by Capitol Records artist Luke Bryan and was the No. 2 country song of 2007, according to the Billboard Year-End charts.
A bout with laryngitis in late July 2007 forced him to cancel his remaining tour dates and delayed the release of his third album. Nearly a year passed before he released his next single, “Don’t,” in mid-2008.
Currington co-wrote five songs on his third album, “Little Bit of Everything.” His next single from the album, “People Are Crazy,” was co-written by Nashville songwriters Bobby Braddock and Troy Jones. Released in March 2009, it went to No. 1 in July of the same year.
Currington is an artist who has sold millions of albums and has toured with the likes of Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Sugarland. David Letterman paid him the ultimate compliment when he said of his hit, “People Are Crazy,” “This song will change your life. You’re not going to do any better than this song here.”
“That’s How Country Boys Roll” became Currington’s fourth No. 1 hit in March 2010, also from this third album. Two months later, he released “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer,” which made it to No. 1 by September. The latter song was from his fourth studio album, “Enjoy Yourself.”
This album produced a string of hits including “Let Me Down Easy,” “Love Done Gone” and “Like My Dog.” Referring to the album title, Currington has been quoted as saying, “That’s what I want people to think about doing when they hear my music. I want them to have a good time.”
“Enjoy Yourself” featured his trademark mix of country, R&B and beach music. “It reflects who I am,” he said of his fourth album.
Currington was nominated for two Grammys in 2010, Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song, for “People Are Crazy.” The song was so popular that it received nominations for Single and Song of the Year from the Academy of Country Music and Single, Song and Video of the Year from the Country Music Association.
The first single from Currington’s fifth studio album, “Hey Girl,” was released to country radio in March 2013. Many people may not know that one project he is especially proud of is one he founded. The Global South Relief organization delivers supplies to those in need in Central American countries.
Since his 2003 debut, Currington has sold more than 11 million albums, while earning multiple Recording Industry Artists Association of America (RIAA) Gold and Platinum certifications.
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