- Category : Singer - Country
- Type : GE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX The Alpha 2
Tracy Lawrence (born January 27, 1968) is an American country music artist. He started at a country music restaurant called "Live At Libby's" where owner Libby Knight would help local talent find their way into country music. Lawerence signed to Atlantic Records in 1991, Lawrence debuted that year with the album Sticks and Stones, which produced his first chart single and first Number One hit in its title track. Five more studio albums, as well as a live album and a compilation album, followed throughout the 1990s and into 2000 on Atlantic before the label's country division was closed in 2001. Afterward, he recorded for Warner Bros. Records, DreamWorks Records, Mercury Records Nashville and his own label, Rocky Comfort Records.
Lawrence has released nine studio albums, three compilations, a live album, and a Christmas album. His studio albums have accounted for more than thirty singles on the Billboard country music charts. Of these, eight have reached number one: "Sticks and Stones" (1991), "Alibis", "Can't Break It to My Heart", "My Second Home" (all 1993), "If the Good Die Young" (1994), "Texas Tornado" (1995), "Time Marches On" (1996) and "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" (2006).
Tracy Lawrence was born in Atlanta, Texas, and lived most of his early life in Foreman, Arkansas. He played in his first band at the age of sixteen and later attended Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas, where he was a member of the Epsilon Kappa chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity. In 1990 Lawrence left Arkansas for Nashville, Tennessee where he planned to find success as a recording artist.
Lawrence worked as an ironworker and in phone sales while he tried to break into the music business. He began participating in talent shows and earned enough money to live on. He began working with Wanda Collier, a music publisher, doing some shows and co-writing some songs, while learning his way around the music scene in Nashville. He had a gig at the Bluebird Cafe and met Wayne Edwards who became his manager.
1991-1993: Sticks and Stones and robbery
With Edwards' assistance, Lawrence signed with Atlantic Records and began recording his first album Sticks and Stones. On May 31, 1991, before the album's release, Lawrence walked his former girlfriend to the door of her hotel room and was confronted by three armed men. The men robbed them and attempted to force Lawrence and his friend into her motel room. Lawrence resisted and was shot four times, allowing his friend to escape. Two of the wounds were major and necessitated surgery. One of the bullets remains embedded in Lawrence's pelvis.
Sticks and Stones, upon its late-1991 release, accounted for four singles on the Billboard country charts. First was the album's title track, which spent a week at Number One in January 1992. Following it were, in order: "Today's Lonely Fool", "Runnin' Behind" and "Somebody Paints the Wall." Sticks and Stones was also certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of one million copies. In 1992, he was also named by Billboard as Top New Male Vocalist.
His second album, Alibis, also produced four singles. The first of these, which was the title track, was his second number-one, as well as his first entry on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 72. After this song came "Can't Break It to My Heart", "My Second Home" and "If the Good Die Young", all of which went to number-one. The album was certified 2× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. In 1994, he contributed the song "Renegades, Rebels, and Rogues" to the soundtrack of the film Maverick. This song became a Top Ten hit for him as well, and in 1993, he was awarded as Top New Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music.
1994-1995: I See It Now
Lawrence's third album, the platinum-certified I See It Now, produced two consecutive number 2 hits in its title track and "As Any Fool Can See", the former of which was a number 84 on the Hot 100. The Bobby Braddock-penned "Texas Tornado" became his sixth number-one hit in mid-1995, followed by another number 2 in "If the World Had a Front Porch". Later in 1995, he released a live acoustic album, Tracy Lawrence Live and Unplugged.
1995-1997: Time Marches On
Time Marches On, his fourth album, was released in 1996. Its lead-off single was "If You Loved Me", which reached a peak of number 4 in early 1996. Following this song was Lawrence's longest-lasting number-one hit, "Time Marches On", also written by Braddock. After this song came "Stars over Texas" and "Is That a Tear", both peaking at number 2. Time Marches On was certified double platinum by the RIAA.
1997-1998: The Coast Is Clear and charges
Lawrence's fifth studio album, The Coast Is Clear, was issued in 1997. This album produced consecutive Top Five hits in the No. 2 "Better Man, Better Off" and No. 4 "How a Cowgirl Says Goodbye". The title track, however, became the first single of his career to miss Top Ten, peaking at No. 26, and the final single, "While You Sleep", fell short of Top 40. Nonetheless, The Coast Is Clear was certified gold.
In March 1997, Lawrence married his 2nd wife Stacie Drew, a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. By December she had filed charges against him. He was eventually convicted of misdemeanor battery and suspended by his record label until he got "his personal matters straight." He was ordered to pay a $500 fine to a women's shelter in Las Vegas.
1999-2002: Lessons Learned and Tracy Lawrence
In late 1999-early 2000, Lawrence returned to the charts with "Lessons Learned". This was the title track to his sixth album, 2000's Lessons Learned. "Lessons Learned" was Lawrence's only Top 40 hit on the pop charts, peaking at number 40 there. Despite this single's success, however, the other singles from the album ("Lonely" and "Unforgiven") did not peak as highly, reaching number 18 and number 35 respectively. By the end of 2000, Atlantic closed its Nashville division, and several acts on its roster, including Lawrence, were transferred to Warner Bros. Records. His only release for that label, Tracy Lawrence, produced only two low-charting singles in "Life Don't Have to Be So Hard" and "What a Memory" before he exited the label.
Lawrence did not chart again until late 2003 with the release of "Paint Me a Birmingham". This song, which had also been a number 53-peaking single for Ken Mellons earlier that year, went on to peak at number 4 for Lawrence in early 2004. It was the first release from Strong, his only album for DreamWorks Records. Following this song were "It's All How You Look at It" and "Sawdust on Her Halo", at number 36 and number 48 respectively.
2005-2006: Label change and Then & Now: The Hits Collection
Lawrence transferred to Mercury Nashville in 2005, where he released the compilation Then & Now: The Hits Collection. His only release for the label, this album included fifteen of his previous hits, all of which (except "Paint Me a Birmingham") had to be newly recorded as the label did not own the rights to his Warner Bros. and Atlantic releases. Two new tracks were included as well: "Used to the Pain", previously a single in 1998 for its co-writer, Mark Nesler, and "If I Don't Make It Back". These two new songs were both issued as singles, but after the release of the latter, Lawrence exited Mercury's roster.
2006-2008: Business ventures and For the Love
In 2006, Lawrence started his own record label, Rocky Comfort Records. A partnership with his manager and brother, Laney, Rocky Comfort operates as a joint venture with CO5 Nashville. His first single for the label was "Find Out Who Your Friends Are", which was released in August 2006 from his album For the Love. This song did not enter Top 40 on the country charts until January 2007, when the album was released, and in June of the same year, it became his first Number One in eleven years. The song reached the top of the country charts in its forty-first week, setting a new record for the slowest-climbing Number One country single, and the second-slowest on any Billboard singles chart. It was also the first time that any artist had reached Number One with the first release from a self-owned label. The song's chart performance was aided by an alternate recording on the album which featured guest vocals from Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, although only Lawrence was credited on the charts. The re-recorded version received Musical Event of the Year honors at the 2007 CMA Awards, Lawrence's first award from that association. Following this song was "Til I Was a Daddy Too" at No. 32, and "You Can't Hide Redneck", the third single. Shortly before the latter, Lawrence also issued a Christmas album entitled All Wrapped Up in Christmas, the title track of which peaked at No. 57 based on Christmas season airplay. Chad Brock and Zona Jones also signed to the Rocky Comfort label, although Brock never released anything for it.
2009: The Rock
Lawrence released the single "Up to Him" in early 2009. This is the first single for a studio album entitled The Rock, which was released in June 2009. The album is composed entirely of Christian music and has been nominated for a Grammy in the best southern, country or bluegrass gospel album category.
2011: The Singer
Lawrence released the single "The Singer" in 2011. It is the title track to his eleventh studio album, released on June 7, 2011. The album's second single, "Pills," was released in 2012.
2013: Headlights, Taillights and Radios
Lawrence released the single "Stop, Drop & Roll" to country radio in October 2012. It is the first single from his album Headlights, Taillights and Radios, to be released in early 2013.