Nashville, Tennessee, often referred to as the “Music City,” has a rich history of nurturing and launching the careers of numerous musicians across various genres. Here are some notable musicians who got their start playing in Nashville:
Taylor Swift: Taylor Swift began her career as a country singer-songwriter in Nashville. She signed with Big Machine Records at the age of 15 and released her self-titled debut album in 2006. Swift’s success skyrocketed from there, eventually transitioning into pop music and becoming one of the biggest-selling artists of all time.
Johnny Cash: Although Johnny Cash was born in Arkansas, he moved to Nashville in the early 1950s and signed with Sun Records, later joining Columbia Records. Cash’s iconic career as a country music legend included hits like “I Walk the Line” and “Ring of Fire,” and he became known for his distinctive voice and rebellious persona.
Dolly Parton: Dolly Parton is one of the most revered and influential country musicians of all time. Born and raised in rural Tennessee, she moved to Nashville in the 1960s and signed with Monument Records. Parton’s songwriting and vocal talents propelled her to stardom, and she remains an enduring figure in the music industry.
Keith Urban: Hailing from Australia, Keith Urban found success after relocating to Nashville in the early 1990s. He signed with Capitol Records and released his self-titled debut album in 1999. Urban’s blend of country and rock influences, along with his virtuosic guitar skills, have made him a multi-platinum-selling artist.
Emmylou Harris: Emmylou Harris, a respected singer-songwriter, started her career in Nashville during the mid-1970s. Known for her distinctive voice and her ability to blend country, folk, and rock elements, Harris has received numerous awards and accolades throughout her career.
Kings of Leon: This rock band, consisting of brothers Caleb, Nathan, and Jared Followill, along with their cousin Matthew Followill, began their musical journey in Nashville. Kings of Leon gained international fame with their breakthrough album “Only by the Night” in 2008 and have continued to produce chart-topping hits.
Lady A (formerly Lady Antebellum): The country music trio Lady A, comprised of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood, formed in Nashville in 2006. They achieved great success with their debut single “Love Don’t Live Here” and have since become one of the most popular country acts of the past decade.
Chris Stapleton: Chris Stapleton started his career as a songwriter in Nashville, penning hits for numerous country artists. He gained widespread recognition as a solo artist after releasing his debut album “Traveller” in 2015, which earned critical acclaim and multiple Grammy Awards.
These are just a few examples of the many musicians who launched their careers in Nashville, a city that continues to be a thriving hub for musical talent and creativity.