By the time he was 12, Paisley was writing songs and playing in the C-Notes, a band formed by his guitar teacher and some of the older musician's friends. A Rotary Club gig led to an invitation to perform on WWVA's Jamboree USA, a popular Saturday night television show in Wheeling, West Virginia. So enthusiastic was the response, the show invited Paisley to sign on as a regular. The Jamboree gig had him opening shows for country giants like Roy Clark and the Judds.
When he was ready for college, Paisley moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University and landed an internship at ASCAP on the side. Through the people he met at ASCAP, the young songwriter was able to secure a contract with EMI publishing.
Soon enough, Arista Records also snatched him up and issued his debut in 1999 with Who Needs Pictures. The album spawned two number one singles -- "He Didn't Have to Be" and "We Danced."
Paisley followed that up by recording a duet with Chely Wright on "Hard to Be a Husband, Hard to Be a Wife." The track was included on the Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry compilation and became the first of several collaborations between the two.
In 2001, Paisley's Part II dropped and he was right back up at the top of the charts with "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)." Three other cuts – "Two People Fell in Love," "Wrapped Around," and "I Wish You'd Stay" – all cracked the Top 10, as well.
Because Part II stayed on the charts through 2003, it bought Paisley some time to work on his third effort. Time Well Wasted came in 2005 and was prefaced by a sort of "director's commentary" that Paisley made for his fans. The collection topped the country album chart, and almost replicated that success on the pop side of the column.
Paisley picked up the pace and released Brad Paisley Christmas in 2006, 5th Gear in 2007, and Play in 2008. The latter effort was a mostly instrumental set that relegated the vocal piece "Waitin' on a Woman" to bonus track status.
Keeping up his prolific pace, Paisley put out American Saturday Night in 2009. Still more hits ensued with "Then," "Welcome to the Future," and "Water." By this point, the country phenom needed a little break and, so, Hits Alive filled the 2010 release slot. The two-disc set included one live album and one greatest hits album.
By 2011, Paisley was back at it with This Is Country Music. He also continued his role, alongside Carrie Underwood, as co-host of the Country Music Association Awards show for the third year in a row.
The Academy of Country Music has recognized Paisley as Top Male Vocalist of the Year every year from 2007 to 2011 with the CMAs anointing him Male Vocalist of the Year in 2007, 2008, and 2009, as well as Entertainer of the Year in 2010.