Kris Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas, but, as the son of a U.S. Army officer, grew up all over the country. After graduating with honors from Pomona College with a degree in literature, Kristofferson attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship; that's where he first tried to launch his music career, signing with Top Rank Records under the name Kris Carson. After college, Kristofferson followed in his father's footsteps: He enrolled in the Army and became a helicopter pilot and, eventually, earned the rank of Captain; however, the pull of the music industry was too strong, and the future country star left the military to pursue a career as a songwriter and singer. Kristofferson relocated to Nashville in 1965 and, soon after, famously landed a helicopter on Johnny Cash's front lawn to hand-deliver a song, "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down;" although Cash was not home at the time, he listened to Kristofferson's demo and decided to record the tune, making it a No. 1 hit. Propelled by Cash's success, Kristofferson juggled a job as a commercial helicopter pilot with songwriting in Music City before signing the first record deal of his own, with Epic Records, in 1967. In addition to his successful music career -- more than 30 albums released and numerous awards and accolades earned -- Kristofferson became a successful actor and has appeared in more than 60 movies and dozens of TV shows. Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004.
Watch Eric Church + More in 'They Called Us Outlaws' Trailer
Get a first look at an extensive new documentary on the outlaw country movement, set to release in 2023.
Kris Kristofferson to Release New 'Live at Gilley’s' Album
These previously unreleased recordings from Kristofferson's 1981 performance at Gilley's are a must-hear for any country fan.
Record Store Day 2022: 15 Must-Buy Releases for Country Fans
From Willie Nelson to Kacey Musgraves, here are fifteen records you need to grab during Record Store Day 2022, which is set for April 23.
Country Music Memories: The Highwaymen Begin Tour in Houston
On March 3, 1990, the country supergroup kicked off their concert tour at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Country Music Memories: Kristofferson's 'A Star Is Born' Opens
On Dec. 8, 1976, a remake of 'A Star Is Born' opened in theaters, starring Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand.
Country Music Memories: Four Country Icons Record 'Highwayman'
Talk about an anniversary to remember!
Musical Smartypants: Country Artists Who Graduated College
In the notoriously volatile entertainment business, no one can argue with having an education to fall back on.