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Brantley Gilbert

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  • Brantley Gilbert scored his first No. 1 hit with "Country Must Be Country Wide" in 2011.

    Brantley Gilbert scored his first No. 1 hit with "Country Must Be Country Wide" in 2011. Credit: 2011 The Valory Music Co., LLC

  • Brantley Gilbert, a Georgia native from the small town of Jefferson, performs for fans at the James Brown Arena in Augusta.

    Brantley Gilbert, a Georgia native from the small town of Jefferson, performs for fans at the James Brown Arena in Augusta. Credit: Augusta Entertainment Complex

Like many of the state’s country music superstars, Brantley Gilbert finds songwriting inspiration in his memories of growing up in Georgia, which in his case, was rural Jefferson, right outside of Athens. He began gigging as a solo acoustic artist in clubs in the legendary Athens music scene and later formed what he has described as a “country-rock-soul” band that strongly resonated with audiences. 

Following the lead of fellow Georgians like Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum, Gilbert decided to move to Nashville to further his career. His writing talent was quickly noticed by Warner/Chappell Publishing, who signed the young artist, and Average Joe’s Entertainment label put out his first two albums, "A Modern Day Prodigal Son" in 2009 and "Halfway to Heaven" in 2010. In 2011, he signed with Valory Music Group, an imprint of Big Machine Records (home to Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts), and "Halfway To Heaven" was re-released as a deluxe edition with additional tracks. Gilbert garnered his first No. 1 country song in 2011 with “Country Must Be Country Wide,” and in summer of 2012, “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” also climbed to the top spot.  At the same time that Gilbert was breaking out as a solo performer, his songs were also making it to the top of the charts for other artists. His “My Kinda Party,” one of several of his songs that Jason Aldean has recorded, was a No. 1 smash hit and the title track to the Macon native’s multiplatinum album. 

Touring constantly for the past two years, Gilbert appeared as opener on a Toby Keith tour before graduating to his own headlining tour with artists including Uncle Kracker and Kip Moore opening for him. Fans should expect a new album later in 2013.