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Clay Walker

Clay Walker

With his first two singles, "What's It to You" and "Live Until I Die," reaching number one upon their release, Clay Walker immediately established himself as a commercial success. Unlike most of his new country contemporaries of the mid-'90s, he was able to sustain that success over the years, releasing multiple platinum albums and charting over 30 singles, including 11 number ones. Walker released his 12th long-player, Texas to Tennessee, in 2021

Walker (born August 19, 1969) was born and raised on a farm in Beaumont, Texas, the hometown of George Jones. He fell in love with country music at an early age; his father gave him a guitar when he was nine. After he graduated from high school, Walker pursued a musical career full-time, playing concerts across the South, the Midwest, and Canada. For over three years, he toured and went to school, taking courses about the music business. During this time, he acted as his own manager. Eventually, he became the house singer at the Neon Armadillo bar in Beaumont. While performing at the club, producer James Stroud heard Walker and offered to work with the singer. Stroud helped Walker secure a contract with Giant Records, and the pair began working on the vocalist's debut album.

"What's It to You" became a number one hit upon its release in August of 1993, with "Live Until I Die" following it into the pole position later that same year. Both singles were featured on his debut album, Clay Walker, which was released in the fall of 1993. "Where Do I Fit in the Picture," the third single from the album, became a number 11 hit in early 1994. "Dreaming with My Eyes Open" became his third number one hit in the summer of 1994, helping make his debut record a platinum album. If I Could Make a Living was not quite as successful as his debut, yet it still yielded the number one title track. Hypnotize the Moon, Walker's third album, appeared in the fall of 1995, preceded by the number two single "Who Needs You Baby." He followed with Self Portrait in 1996 and Rumor Has It in 1997, both of which went platinum. In 1996 Walker was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He eventually started his own non-profit charity, Band Against MS, to help raise awareness of the disease. A Greatest Hits collection appeared in 1998 and a new album, Live, Laugh, Love, was released in 1999. Say No More followed two years later, with A Few Questions arriving in 2003 and Fall, his Curb debut, in 2007. Walker did nonstop touring in 2008 in support of the album and began to record She Won't Be Lonely Long. The album was released on Curb in June of 2010 preceded by the title track as a single, which peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Country chart.

Walker spent the next few years on a recording hiatus, but he did continue to perform. He returned to the studio in 2019 and released Long Live the Cowboy, and in 2021 he issued his 12th full-length effort, Long Live the Cowboy, which featured the hit "Need a Bar Sometimes." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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