Remember When Chris Young Released His Debut Album?
The Chris Young on the cover of his self-titled debut album is hardly recognizable to fans who know his newer work. The singer was a brand-new face on the national country music scene, and only 21 years old, when he released his self-titled debut album on Oct. 3, 2006 — 17 years ago today.
Born and raised in Murfreesboro, Tenn., just south of Nashville, Young performed in plenty of children's theater productions and at other local events, and even toured extensively while enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University. It was a turn on Season 4 of Nashville Star — a country music-focused TV singing competition that aired on the USA Network — that landed Young his record deal with RCA Records Nashville, however.
Young wasted no time in releasing his first album: He won Nashville Star in May and released Chris Young just five months later. Young co-wrote four of the 11 songs on the album, which also features cuts from David Lee Murphy, Ashley Gorley, Lee Thomas Miller, Dallas Davidson and others. Buddy Cannon produced the record.
Chris Young landed at No. 3 on the Billboard country albums chart, and even went to the Top 25 on the all-genre Billboard 200 (No. 22). The two singles from the record, though — "Drinkin' Me Lonely" and "You're Gonna Love Me" — stalled just outside the Top 40 (No. 42 and No. 48, respectively) on the country radio chart.
Young's rising profile earned him his first awards show nod: He was nominated for Top New Male Vocalist at the 2007 ACM Awards.
Following Chris Young, Young released his sophomore album, The Man I Want to Be, in 2009; the album contains his first three No. 1 singles: "Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)," "The Man I Want to Be" and "Voices," which was actually released to radio twice. Young has released five additional studio albums — his most recent is 2021's Famous Friends — as well as a Christmas album and an EP.
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