There was a time when young Rodney Allan Atkins was bounced from one home to another. Born on March 28, 1969 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Rodney was given up for adoption as an infant. He was taken in at the Holston Methodist Home for Children in Greeneville, Tennessee. Two couples returned him to the place because he was so sick. A third couple, Margaret and Allan Atkins, refused to give up although his ailments worsened.
Rodney was raised by parents who had survived harsh living condition. "My parents had a baby boy six months before I was born and he only lived a few days," Rodney said. "After he passed they applied to adopt a baby. Six months after that, the Holston Home called and said they had a baby. That baby was me."
He made it to high school and picked his first guitar at this age. He played the instrument in his spare time, performing at events and festivals. But Rodney had not seriously considered a professional career in music at that time. He enrolled at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tennessee while doing various jobs. He met Tammy Jo whom he would later date for five years and marry. They have one son together, named Elijah.
Rodney's passion in music continued to grow. He took several trips to Nashville to perform at various areas that by the time he graduated from college, he was known as a local performer. Opportunity to launch his career as singer came in 1997 when he was signed to Curb Records.
He had recorded several songs for his debut album when he decided to re-do everything because he didn't like the finished results. The label head Mike Curb gave him the go-ahead to record new songs and Rodney spent two years working with various producers, engineers, and musicians.
Ironically, the album never saw the light of day. But one of the album's songs, "In a Heartbeat" peaked at number 74 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks, which is now called Hot Country Songs chart. He resurfaced in 2002 with the single "Sing Along" which peaked at number 37 on U.S. Country chart.
However, it was "Honesty (Write Me a List)" which really propelled his career by reaching number 4 on the same chart and entering the Top 100 of U.S. Billboard Hot 200. The album, called "Honesty", was released at the end of 2003 with two more singles.
Rodney spent the next two years working on his sophomore album. The first single called "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)" was released in 2006 to a warm reception. Beside peeking at number one on Country charts, the song became the top country song of that year.
The success was followed by "Watching You", "These Are My People" and "Cleaning This Gun (Come On in Boy)". The strong singles led to the album, "If You're Going Through Hell", being certified RIAA platinum in the U.S.
It did not take long for Rodney to release the first single from his third album. "It's America", which is the title track, was released in November 2008 and became his fifth number one hit. In 2009, "15 Minutes" was released, followed by "Chasin' Girls". The last two singles failed to make it to the Top 10. Rodney re-released the album in 2010 with additional single "Farmer's Daughter" which reached number 5 on U.S. Country charts.
His fourth album spawned "Take a Back Road" as lead single. It became his sixth number one hit as well as his fastest-rising single to date. The album, also titled "Take a Back Road", is released on October 4, 2011.