Brad Paisley (born October 28, 1972) is an American country music singer and songwriter from Glen Dale, West Virginia.
Brad Paisley has stated that his love of country music stems from his maternal grandfather, who gave Paisley his first guitar at age 8 and taught him how to play. At age 12, Paisley wrote his first song, and by 13 he was the opening act for country singers such as Ricky Skaggs and George Jones.
Paisley graduated from John Marshall High School in Glendale, WV and enrolled at Belmont University (from 1993 to 1995). While in college, he met Frank Rogers, a fellow student who went on to serve as his producer. Paisley also met Kelley Lovelace, who became his songwriting partner.
After graduating from Belmont, Paisley signed a songwriting contract with EMI Music Publishing. His debut as a singer was with the label Arista Nashville, with the song, "Who Needs Pictures" (released February 22, 1999). In May of that same year, he made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Seven months later he had his first #1 hit with, "He Didn't Have To Be", which detailed the story of Lovelace and Lovelace's stepson.