Tracy Byrd Biography

A Biography of Country Crooner Tracy Byrd

Country singer Tracy Byrd
Country singer Tracy Byrd. Google Images/blueroses-exeter.com

Tracy Byrd was born in tiny Vidor, Texas on December 17, 1966, and he grew up listening to country music. But he never thought he would make a career out of it. 

Byrd sang a karaoke-style cover of Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart" in a shopping mall recording studio when he was 20. His performance impressed a saleswoman and she invited him to perform in an amateur talent show. Byrd's performance at the show was so well-received that he decided to pursue country music full time.

He dropped out of Texas State University where he was studying business and joined country artist Mark Chesnutt's band, eventually replacing Chesnutt as the headlining act at a popular club in Beaumont, Texas. Then Byrd traveled to Nashville in hopes of scoring a record deal. The trip was unsuccessful, but he didn't give up. He later returned to Nashville and was lucky enough to get a private audition with MCA Records. He was signed on the spot.

Career Overview

Byrd released his self-titled debut album in 1993. It wasn't a huge hit as a whole, but the No. 1 single "Holdin' Heaven" was enough to make Byrd more than a blip on the radar.

His sophomore release, No Ordinary Man, came out the following year and it's noted as his commercial breakthrough. It sold more than two million copies and produced four Top 5 hits: "Watermelon Crawl," "Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous," "The First Step" and "The Keeper of the Stars." Byrd had become a country star in his own right just like that, forging his own path as a neotraditional country artist.

He followed up with Love Lessons in 1995. The album's singles didn't break any chart records, but the album itself still went gold. Byrd hit it big again in 1996 with Big Love which put him back on the Top 5 singles charts. The title track peaked at No. 3 and his cover of the Johnny Paycheck song "(Don't Take Her) She's All I Got" made it fourth on the Top 5 list.

I'm from the Country performed similarly in 1998. The following year marked the release of Byrd's first greatest hits album.

He signed with RCA Records in 1999 and released It's About Time the same year. The album features a distinct country-pop sound which differed from his previous work. None of its singles cracked the Top 10. He returned in 2001 with Ten Rounds, and the single "Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo" soared to the top of the charts, giving Byrd his second No. 1 hit. The song also peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it his first Top 40 pop hit.

His final RCA release, The Truth About Men, was released in 2003. It featured Blake Shelton, Andy Griggs and Montgomery Gentry in the title track. Byrd released his second greatest hits album in 2005 under BNA Records. It included three new tracks and new versions of "I'm from the Country" and "The Keeper of the Stars." He released Different Things in 2007 on his own label, Blind Mule Records.

Byrd then took a break from touring and recording for a while to spend time with his wife, Michelle, and their three children: Eve, Logan and Jared. He came roaring back in December 2016 with All American Texan, also self-released. 

Discography:

  • Tracy Byrd (1993)
  • No Ordinary Man (1994)
  • Love Lessons (1995)
  • Big Love (1995)
  • I'm from the Country (1998)
  • Keepers: Greatest Hits (1999)
  • It's About Time (1999)
  • Ten Rounds (2001)
  • The Truth About Men (2003)
  • Tracy Byrd: Greatest Hits (2005)
  • Different Things (2006)
  • All American Texan (2016) 

 

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Fabian, Shelly. "Tracy Byrd Biography." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2017, thoughtco.com/tracy-byrd-biography-925338. Fabian, Shelly. (2017, August 27). Tracy Byrd Biography. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/tracy-byrd-biography-925338 Fabian, Shelly. "Tracy Byrd Biography." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/tracy-byrd-biography-925338 (accessed November 20, 2017).