Tracy Lawrence Celebrates Two Terrific Decades in Music
Tracy Lawrence is celebrating 20 years as a recording artist. The Texas-born, Arkansas-bred singer's career kicked off in 1991 with the release of his debut single, 'Sticks and Stones,' which reached No. 1 on the charts the following year. He followed that with seven more chart-toppers and amassed a total of 22 Top 10 hits, 19 of which were consecutive and six of which topped out at the No. 2 spot.
Two decades in the business has certainly taught Tracy a lot. We asked him what advice he'd give to his 23-year-old self if he could go back to 1991.
"I would tell myself to slow down a little bit," Tracy tells The Boot. "Be more cautious about where you invest your money and what you let people talk you into. And only get married once! [laughs]"
The singer, whose No. 1 hits include his 2006 Tim McGraw-Kenny Chesney collaboration, 'Find Out Who Your Friends Are,' understands that even as one of country music's more seasoned performers, a give-and-take approach is necessary in the creative process, especially with the industry's evolution toward catering to a younger audience.
"At this point, you've got to pick your battles and bend like a tree," Tracy tells the Daily Times. "If I get to put nine of [my songs on an album] and the label asks me to do one, that's a fair trade-off. That's OK, because the industry as a whole is moving toward younger people, and seems to be fazing us out at an earlier age."
Football fans of all ages may recognize Tracy as the voice behind 'Saturday in the South,' which has been adopted by the CBS Sports Network as the theme for their SEC Football telecasts.
"We got to go to Baton Rouge down to the LSU/Auburn game a few weeks ago and do a full performance in the parking lot. They taped it for a live, two-hour show," the singer says of his new partnership with the college football league. "The next morning -- by 10:00 AM -- they had pulled footage and created the whole commercial spot. [We got] lots of coverage out of that. It's fun to see the Google searches surge on Saturdays."
As for his own personal favorite teams, Tracy confesses, "I love watching my Hogs (Arkansas Razorbacks), the University of Tennessee and I've really loved watching how Vanderbilt this year has turned into a real football team. I think next year will be even better for them," predicts the singer.
To date, Tracy has recorded 11 studio albums, selling more than seven million copies in the U.S. Earlier this year, he released the appropriately-titled album, 'The Singer,' which features a new recording of his 2003 hit, 'Paint Me a Birmingham,' and 'Find Out Who Your Friends Are.' He continues to tour heavily in promotion of his new project, with dates booked through August 2012. Click here to view Tracy's tour schedule.