A high school football star-turned-country entertainer, Broken Bow Records artist Jackie Lee grew up in a home filled with a love of guitars and gridirons. The Maryville, Tenn., native first entered the recording studio at the age of 6, and was produced by family friend Carson Chamberlain (Keith Whitley, Easton Corbin). Lee grew up developing his powerful voice during performances at church. He tried his hand at multiple instruments, including drums, guitar, and piano. The love of music came naturally; Lee’s father, Jack, had pursued a record deal in the ’90s, and had been produced by Chamberlain.
Equally adept at sports as music, Jackie Lee grew up playing multiple sports, and helped Alcoa High School’s football team take home two state championship rings alongside future Green Bay Packer Randall Cobb.
The Maryville, Tenn. native knew his heart was in music, and his decision to pursue a career in entertainment over football is paying off handsomely. His first single, “She Does,” penned by Neil Thrasher and Kelley Lovelace, is making an impact at radio, and is climbing the charts. “They, of course, have written for guys like Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts, and that’s the kind of music I listened to growing up,” said Lee.
It’s been said that every song eventually falls into the hands of the right singer, and Lee said he hoped for the chance to record “She Does” since first hearing it. “I was writing at a publishing company here in Nashville,” said Lee. “Across the hall, I heard Kim Wiggins playing the demo for this song, and I just loved it. I went to her and said if the chance ever came up to record that song, I wanted it. She told me another artist had it on hold, so I didn’t think it would happen. Then, a few weeks later, she called me up and told me it was available. When Kenny Chesney didn’t record the song, I was so excited. It’s one of the first songs I recorded for the new project.”
That as-of-yet untitled project will be Lee’s first for Broken Bow Records (home to Jason Aldean, Dustin Lynch, and others), where Lee says he’s found a supportive home for artistic endeavors. “In January 2013 I was sitting with my manager Trey Turner and said I wanted to go somewhere where they believe in me as an artist,” said Lee. “I met with [Broken Bow CEO/founder] Benny Brown in February and we talked for three hours about family, my life and my music. I felt like he really pointed me in the right direction.” Longtime producer Chamberlain is working with Lee on his debut label project.
During a recent visit to MusicRow‘s Nashville office, Lee showcased his formidable, soulful voice with a performance of “She Does,” and previewed two other songs, “First Girl,” and “Tell Me,” from his upcoming project.
Lee also recalled his recent debut performance in the historic wooden circle on the Grand Ole Opry stage—a moment of pride for Lee, both personally, and professionally. He was joined onstage by his father Jack, who played keys during Lee’s performance. “We had lots of friends and family at the performance, so it was wonderful,” said Lee. “I’m loving every minute of this ride.”
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