Brantley Gilbert Biography

Brantley Gilbert -- From Songwriter to Singer

brantley gilbert
Brantley Gilbert. Image courtesy of The Valory Music Co.

Brantley Gilbert is a country music singer-songwriter from Jefferson, Georgia. He originally gained success originally as a songwriter penning tracks for Jason Aldean and Colt Ford before striking out on his own as an artist. Gilbert embraced a bad boy image at first, but he toned down his act when he moved to the Valory Music Co. label from Average Joes. He was born on January 20, 1985. 

Raised on Rock 'n' Roll

Brantley Gilbert spent his small-town youth listening to a lot of bands outside the confines of country music.

They included local college rockers R.E.M., as well as roots rock such as John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen. Lynyrd Skynyrd was a big influence on Gilbert. He began singing and songwriting at age 13. 

A Brush With Death

In 2004, Gilbert had a car accident while he was intoxicated. He was 19. The accident could have killed him, even though he escaped without a scratch. He's said that after that, he decided to devote himself to his music and writing songs. The incident later inspired Gilbert's song "Halfway to Heaven" off the album of the same name.

Teaming Up With Jason Aldean

Gilbert became acquainted with Jason Aldean after moving to Nashville. The singer ended up recording Gilbert's "Dirt Road Anthem," which had been previously recorded and released by Colt Ford. Aldean's version of the track showed up on his blockbuster album "My Kinda Party," and it became one of its flagship singles.

Gilbert released his debut album, Modern Day Prodigal Son, in 2009. It topped out at No. 58 on the country music charts. He recorded it and self-released it before it was picked up by Big Joe Entertainment.

No. 1 with "Country Must Be Country Wide"

Gilbert released Halfway to Heaven in 2010. It made a slow build, eventually reaching No 2 on the country album charts.

The record yielded Gilbert's first No. 1 country single, "Country Must Be Country Wide." But it didn't come easy. The single was largely ignored on commercial country radio at first, but it picked up plenty of momentum online, selling over 160,000 downloads.

"I wrote it with Colt Ford and Mike Dekle, and we had just got done touring," Gilbert told USA Today in 2011. "We had gone a little more north and northwest than we'd ever gone before, and we just started to notice that even people up north were a lot like us -- that there were some country people there, too, and they needed a little bit of country credit."

He released the album's second single, "You Don't Know Her Like I Do," in December 2011. 

Just as I Am was released on May 19, 2014. The first single, "Bottoms Up," hit No. 1 one on the country music chart and was certified double platinum. Two other of the album's singles, "Small Town Throwdown" and "One Hell of an Amen" were certified gold in the U.S.

The Devil Don't Sleep, Gilbert's fourth studio album, was released in January 2017. Its single "The Weekend" cracked the U.S. Hot Country Top 10.