Terri Clark Biography

A biography of the Canadian country star

Terri Clark
Terri Clark. Mercury Nashville

Born in Montreal on August 5, 1968, and raised in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Terri Clark is a Canadian import who took America's country music scene by storm in the '90s. Clark grew up in a musical family. Her grandparents, Ray and Betty Gauthier, were country stars in Canada, opening for the likes of Johnny Cash, George Jones and Little Jimmy Dickens, and her mother performed folk songs at local coffee shops.

 As a child, she listened to her grandparents' country records and taught herself how to play guitar. She caught the bug, singing, playing, listening to country music, and seeking inspiration from popular female artists like Linda Ronstadt, Reba McEntire and The Judds.

After graduating high school in 1987, Clark moved to Nashville. She walked into Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, unannounced, and asked if she could sing. It was a bold move, but her singing impressed management and they decided to take her on as the house singer. For the next seven ​years, she sang in clubs and worked odd jobs, all while trying to break into the industry and land a recording contract.

Career Overview:

Clark's big break finally came in 1994. She landed an audition with Mercury Records, and the label's president signed Clark after seeing her perform live. Her debut album, Terri Clark, was released the following year and was an immediate hit.

The album went platinum and spawned Top Ten hits like "Better Things to Do," "When Boy Meets Girl" and "If I Were You," which became Clark's first number one in Canada. Billboard magazine named her the Top New Female Country Artist in 1995. In 1996 she was nominated for the Country Music Association's Horizon Award and the Academy of Country Music's Best New Female Vocalist Award.

She racked up award wins in Canada, taking home the Canadian Country Music Awards' Album of the Year and Single of the Year.

Her sophomore release, Just the Same, came out in 1996, followed by How I Feel in 1998. How I Feel's "You're Easy on the Eyes" earned Clark her first number one single in the United States. The single was also a number one in Canada. To promote the album, Clark joined Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn as the opening act on their 1998 tour. Fearless, her fourth studio album, was released in 2000. A new producer and co-writers delivered an album with a more acoustic feel than Clark's previous releases. She also wrote more personal songs for the album.

Clark released Pain to Kill in 2003, followed by the release of the album's first single, "I Just Wanna Be Mad." The single marks Clark's highest ranking on the Billboard Hot 100 ever, peaking at No. 27. She was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry during a 2004 performance there, and, to this day, she is the only female Canadian member. Soon after her induction, her first Greatest Hits album was released. The album's only single, "Girls Lie Too," became her first number one in the States since 1998's "You're Easy on the Eyes."

Life Goes On was released in 2005. In 2006 she signed a deal with BNA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, and started working on her next album, My Next Life. Although two of the album's singles were issued, the album's release was delayed several times, causing Clark to part ways with the label in 2008. In 2009 she formed her own label, BareTrack Records, and released her seventh studio album, The Long Way Home.

2011 marked the release of Roots and Wings. Clark penned the song "Smile" following her mother's death after a long battle with cancer. Classic was released in 2012, followed by Some Songs in 2014. The album was distributed by Clark's own label and Universal Music Canada. Today, Clark continues to perform and tour around the country. She also hosts America's Morning Show on Nash FM with Blair Garner and Chuck Wicks.

Recommended Songs:

Discography: