2011 InCharge—On the Cover: Chris Young

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Label: RCA Nashville
Current Album: Neon (to be released in July)
Current Single: “Tomorrow” (the fastest rising single of his career)
Current Producer: James Stroud
Hometown: Murfreesboro, TN
Management: ShopKeeper Mgmt./Marion Kraft
Booking: William Morris Endeavor Ent./Rob Beckham
Recent Hits: Three consecutive No. 1 singles: “Voices,” “The Man I Want to Be” and “Gettin’ You Home”
Awards: Last year Young won the Breakthrough Songwriter Award at the 22nd Annual MusicRow Awards, while amassing multiple ACM, CMA, and ACA nominations and his first GRAMMY® nod.
RIAA Certs to date: “Gettin’ You Home”–Gold Digital Single; The Man I Want to Be–album approaching Gold
Touring: Young will join Jason Aldean on his My Kinda Party Tour beginning in June. He recently wrapped more than six months on the road with Rascal Flatts.
Birthdate: June 12
Website: www.chrisyoungcountry.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/chrisyoungmusic
Twitter: @ChrisYoungMusic

Chris Young has distinguished himself as a singer/songwriter who honors country music’s finest traditions while adding a fresh, new chapter to the genre’s legacy. The opening months of 2011 have been especially eventful for Young, as his No. 1 single for “Voices” became the first country record in 25 years to be re-released to chart-topping status, while his current single, “Tomorrow,” has become the fastest rising hit of his career. Young also recently received his first Grammy Award nomination, recognized for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his No. 1 song “Gettin’ You Home.”

On the horizon this year is Young’s third studio album, Neon, which he recorded with producer James Stroud. Kicking off the album is new single “Tomorrow,” which sold 30,000 digital downloads in the first week of release.

Young knew early on that he wanted to pursue a career in country music. Raised just minutes away from Nashville, in Murfreesboro, he began making trips to Music Row at a young age, trying to land a record deal. He began performing while still in high school, and was playing 150 dates a year by the time he was in college. Before eventually landing a deal with RCA, Young had a regular gig at the famed Texas honky-tonk, Cowboys. “It was a great way to get experience,” he says. “I had a seven-piece band and we played three nights a week. Plus there were major acts constantly going in and out of there, so I’d get to watch their show and see how they worked the crowd. It was a good learning experience for me.”
Young’s self-titled RCA Nashville debut made him country’s best-selling new male artist in its year of release and earned him a nod in the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Male Vocalist category. His 2009 sophomore project, The Man I Want to Be, is quickly approaching Gold certification. It launched three consecutive No. 1 singles with the title track making a three-week run at the top of the charts.

Like his heroes Keith Whitley and Randy Travis before him, Young doesn’t see himself as the savior of country music, just a lucky guy living his dream. “I love playing music,” he says. “There’s no way I could do anything else.”

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