Country singer and songwriter Lee Brice
walks a path between traditional honky tonk sounds and contemporary rock & roll; as Brice
puts it, his music sounds like what would happen if Hank Williams Jr.
and John Mayer
had a love child. Brice
was born in Sumter, a small town in South Carolina, where he was raised on the gospel songs his family would sing in church. At the age of seven, Brice
began learning the piano, and at ten he started writing his own songs, soaking up the influences of his father's country LPs by Alabama
and the Oak Ridge Boys
. It wasn't until Brice
enrolled in high school (where he won the school talent contest three years in a row) that he was exposed to rock & roll, and he began developing a taste for a broader variety of music; he also found a role model in chart-topping Nashville star Garth Brooks
Brice had a talent for football, and he attended Clemson University on a gridiron scholarship, but when an arm injury spoiled his ability to pass the ball, Brice decided that music rather than civil engineering was where his true passion lay, and he moved to Nashville on the advice of Doug Johnson, who would sign Brice to a publishing contract when he became an A&R man at Curb Records. Some of Brice's songs were recorded by Jason Aldean, Cowboy Crush, and Keith Gattis, but he didn't lose his dream of recording his own material, and in the fall of 2007 he recorded his first album, Picture of Me, which included the single "She Ain't Right." That single and its two successors -- "Happy Endings" and "Upper Middle Class White Trash" -- didn't make any waves and the album was scrapped.
Another career boost for Brice came in 2007 when Garth Brooks recorded his song "More Than a Memory" as one of four new tunes appearing on Ultimate Hits, a career-spanning compilation that featured Brooks' first new recordings since 2001. Brice received another shot at the big time in 2010 when Curb released his debut album, Love Like Crazy. The title song had considerable legs, spending over a year on the Billboard country charts and eventually peaking at number three. He had another hit with 2011's number one single "A Woman Like You," the first song pulled from his 2012 sophomore set, Hard 2 Love. The album entered the U.S. country charts at number two and the pop charts at five. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi