Clint Black

  • Country music singer, songwriter and musician born in 1962 in Long Branch New Jersey.
  • While born in New Jersey, Black’s family moved to Texas when he was one year old. Music was always present in his house growing up. He learned the harmonica at 13, and the guitar at 15 years old. He began writing music when he was 14 years old. He and his three brothers performed in a band at backyard barbecues. Eventually, he dropped out of high school, determined to make a solo career in music, while supporting himself with jobs in construction. While he was interested in several music genres, he chose old school traditional country music, as popular acts like George Jones and Reba McIntyre brought back a resurgence in the genre in the early 80s.
  • In 1987, he met guitarist Hayden Nichols at a gig, and they connected, forming a songwriting partnership that remained for over 30 years. One song that they wrote was titled Nobody’s Home. A demo of the song found its way to a record promoter, and soon after he was signed to a recording contract. His debut album, Killin’ Time, was released in 1989. It was a hit, topping the Country album charts, and eventually certified 3x platinum. Five singles from the album reached #1 on the Country Songs chart – A Better Man, Killin’ Time, Nobody’s Home and Walkin’ Away. The success of the album led to four awards from the Academy of Country Music, including Top Male Vocalist, Top New Male Vocalist and Album of the Year.
  • Black appealed to country music fans with his stage presence. He was one of many new acts at that time that always wore a cowboy hat (black) on stage, and his music was traditional with a pop appeal. He sounded old school, with a dimpled baby face. Despite pressure from the label to cover songs by other artists, Black refused – all of the songs were written by Black, with many co-written with Nichols. He continued this for his first ten albums (even his Christmas album only features songs written by Black and Nichols). Remarkably, his first 24 singles all reached the top 10 of the Country Songs chart, from 1989 to 1996.
  • He released his second studio album, Put Yourself In My Shoes, in 1990. It peaked at #1 on the Country album chart, and was certified 3x platinum. Two songs topped the Country Songs chart – Loving Blind and Where Are You Now. By 1991, Black was a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
  • Black’s contract with his manager had terms that were unfavorable to Black, so he sued his manager in 1991. Of course, the manager counter-sued, and the legal issues delayed the release of his third album. In 1992, The Hard Way album was released. Less successful than his earlier work, it still received a platinum certification. Five more studio albums were released in the 90s, three of which were certified platinum. A total of 18 singles from 1992 to 1999 would land in the top 5 of the Country Songs chart, with seven #1 songs. He won his only Grammy award in 1999 for Best Country Collaboration for Same Old Train, shared with 12 other country music artists (he has been nominated for six Grammy awards).
  • After his daughter was born in 2001 (his wife is actress/singer Lisa Hartman), he stepped away from music for three years. When he returned to recording, it was with his own record label. He released four albums under this label in the 00s, with only one hit reaching the top 20 of the Country Songs chart – Spend My Time made it to #16 in 2003. After he shut down his label, he partnered with a music marketing firm to release albums in 2015 and 2020.
  • Soon after he broke through, Black was offered many roles in movies and television. He turned them all down until he took a small role in the western comedy film Maverick in 1994. This led to several more roles, including family films Flicka 2 and Flicka: Country Pride (he wears a white cowboy hat in these films). In 2020, he and his wife competed as Snow Owls in Season Four of The Masked Singer – they survived two episodes before they were eliminated.
  • Watch his video of Killin’ Time, the title track to his breakthrough debut album. He still has this traditional sound today – though he looks a few years older now.

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