When Chris Young won the reality competition Nashville Star in 2006, his career didn’t exactly take off.
Unlike American Idol‘s country success story Scotty McCreery, this deep-voiced crooner moved rather slowly out of the gate. His late-2006 debut single “Drinkin’ Me Lonely” only reached number 42 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, and its followup, “You’re Gonna Love Me,” petered out in 48th place.
Everything changed in 2009, though, when Young’s “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” struck a chord with country listeners and climbed the chart for eight solid months, finally reaching No. 1 on October 24, 2009. Since then, the 26 year-old has been on an impressive winning streak.
His following single, “The Man I Want To Be” reached the top spot in May 2010, followed a few months later by a chart-topping re-release of “Voices,” a track which had only reached number 37 when it was sent to radio in 2008. In August 2011, the lead single off of Young’s current CD Neon, “Tomorrow,” became his biggest hit yet — reaching number one and being named the fourth biggest country song on the year-end chart.
Today, Young, who recently scored a breakthrough artist trophy at the American Country Awards, is celebrating his fifth-straight smash, “You,” which has reached the top of the chart for the week of February 11, putting him in the same camp as Blake Shelton and the Zac Brown Band, two other acts who’ve recently scored five consecutive number ones.
Young’s album Neon has scanned about 300,000 copies so far — a bit less than one might expect given his radio power (Is he the Rihanna of country?), but it’s clear that the baritone has a long, lucrative future ahead of him. If he keeps releasing rich, charming cuts like “You,” who knows where his streak will end?
Let’s turn this over to you, readers. Are you board the Chris Young train? Do you think he’s solidified his spot on country’s new A-list?
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Chris Young nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year at the ACM awards
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