- 09:00 AM, Aug 14
For Brantley Gilbert, it took an accident for him to wake up and pick the guitar. Born in Jefferson, Georgia on January 20, 1985, Gilbert never considered himself a great singer, songwriter or guitar player. Although he grew up with rock dominating the charts and bands such as REM rooting nearby, his heartache, personal story and feeling always leaned toward country.
He was nineteen when he was involved in a fatal car accident which threw him out of the back window. His truck rolled several times and hit a tree, almost costing his life. "I thought about how I might not be here tomorrow. And if I was going to do something with today, what would I do?" he said. So, after some soul-searching, he wrote "Prodigal Son" and "Indiana's Angel".
Gilbert began by taking the stage night-after-night and opening for other country artists throughout the southeast. By 2006, he was ready to release his first album "Modern Day Prodigal Son", but it was not until he signed with Average Joe's Entertainment in mid 2009 that he released the album. His popularity rose and he started writing songs for such artists as Colt Ford and Jason Aldean.
He released his second studio album "Halfway to Heaven" with Average Joe in March 2010, a few months before he joined Valory Music Group, a division of Big Machine Records. The sophomore effort was released in deluxe edition in September 2011, featuring remixes of all the tracks, as well as several new tracks that were not on the original version of the album.
"Country Must Be Country Wide" was the first single from the deluxe edition. It went number one on U.S. Country Songs Billboard chart. The second single "You Don't Know Her Like I Do" debuted at number 52 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in December 2011 and climbed its way up to the third position. The song eventually won Single of the Year: Breakthrough Artist at the 2012 American Country Award.
Shortly after releasing the second single, Gilbert shared "Kick It in the Sticks". The song was originally released in 2010 and re-released in 2012 as the third single from his sophomore album. The 2012 version received generally positive reviews and it went to No. 29 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart as well as peaked at No. 38 on the Country Airplay chart.
In 2013, Gilbert