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About Clint Black


Clint Patrick Black is an American country music singer, songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. Signed to RCA Nashville in 1989, Black's debut album Killin' Time produced four straight number one singles on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. Although his momentum gradually slowed throughout the 1990s, Black consistently charted hit songs into the 2000s. He has had more than 30 singles on the US Billboard country charts, twenty-two of which have reached number one, in addition to having released twelve studio albums and several compilation albums. In 2003, Black founded his own record label, Equity Music Group. Black has also ventured into acting, having made appearances in a 1993 episode of the TV series Wings and in the 1994 film Maverick, as well as a starring role in 1998's Still Holding On: The Legend of Cadillac Jack.


Clint has been nominated for 4 Grammy Awards for best Country Male Vocal Performance , he was also nominated for 6 Grammy Awards with 1 win in the category of Best Country Collaboration with Vocals - "Hold On Partner" in 1991 , "A Bad Goodbye" in 1993 , "Still Holding On" in 1997 , "Same Old Train" in 1998 which got the Grammy Award , "When I Said I Do" in 1999 , and "Hey Good Lookin'" in 2004 .


Black was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, the youngest of four children of Ann and Gwin Augusta "G.A." Black, Jr., and lived in nearby Red Bank. His maternal great-grandfather was of Italian descent, with roots in Palermo, Sicily. The family moved back to Texas, where G.A. Black had been born and raised, before Clint was one year old. He was raised in Katy, Texas. Music was always present in the house. Black taught himself to play harmonica before he was 13, and at 14 wrote his first song. His father remarked that it was at that age that the parents "first noticed that he had a great voice". By 15, Black had learned to play guitar. As a teenager Black joined his elder brothers, Mark, Kevin and Brian, in their small band. On Saturday afternoons, the family would host backyard barbecues and invite the neighborhood to listen to the boys sing. Some weekends would attract up to 70 people. Black eventually dropped out of high school to play with his brothers, before becoming a solo act.


Black was initially drawn to a variety of musical genres. According to his father, he chose to focus on country music in the early 1980s, after singers George Strait and Reba McEntire moved the genre back toward the more traditional; in the style kept alive by George Jones and Merle Haggard. For six years, Black supported himself as a construction worker, bait cutter, and fishing guide, while singing at various lounges as a solo singer and guitarist. In 1987, at one of the gigs he met another guitarist, Hayden Nicholas. The two men connected musically and began a song writing partnership that would last decades. In the late 1980s, Black delivered a demo of their collaboration "Nobody's Home" to record promoter Sammy Alfano. Within two days of that delivery, Black was invited to a meeting with Bill Ham, who managed ZZ Top.


Black soon signed with RCA at that time considered one of the "most aggressive" labels in country music. His first album, Killin' Time, was released in 1989. Each song on the album was penned at least in part by Black; four of them were attributed solely to him, while the rest were collaborations with Nicholas. In a departure from most other country albums, Black used his road band instead of session musicians to record Killin' Time. The album was a critical and commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Country Albums chart and certified platinum in 1990. He made his debut in 1989 with the single, "A Better Man", which reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs in early June. This marked the first time in 14 years that a debut single by a male artist had peaked at the top of the chart. In total, five singles off of his debut album reached number one, the first time any country artist had accomplished this feat. Black won the Country Music Association's Horizon Award for best newcomer in 1989. At the end of the year, his singles, "A Better Man" and "Killin' Time" place number one and number two on the year-end country singles charts. It had been 36 years since another artist had claimed both top spots in a single year. Looking back at the early stages of his career, Black recalled: "'At one point, I knew I crossed this line out of obscurity and I felt like no matter what happened from that point on I would always be remembered for "Killin' Time." There was this kind of mixed feeling of remorse and excitement.'"


In late 1990, the Los Angeles Times surveyed country music industry insiders to determine which acts could be expected to sell the most records over the next seven years. Black placed second in the poll, two votes behind Garth Brooks. The survey results were surprising in that 10 of the top 20 artists named were relative newcomers to the industry; in the past, country music had been dominated by artists with several decades experience. The plethora of new acts confused some reviewers, however. Many reviewers lumped many of the new acts together; as Newsweek's David Gates wrote: "Good song, good voice, hot band: who cares which one it is this time?" Black soon became known as one of Nashville's "hat acts"; like other country artists such as Tracy Lawrence, Alan Jackson, and John Michael Montgomery, Black was a relative newcomer who wore a hat, and had "clean, neotraditional sound with pop appeal".


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Clint Black", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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