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.
New 'ACL' Collection Features Kris Kristofferson Over the Years
He's one of an all-star lineup the collection spotlights.
Watch Kris Kristofferson's Final Concert Performance
It capped off an amazing career.
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Plenty of major CMA Awards moments have resulted in memorable snapshots -- when photographers caught the perfect shot.
Why Isn't Kris Kristofferson Attending the 2019 CMA Awards?
It's actually a pretty simple reason!