Chesnutt in 2006. Image by Dwight McCann
|Birth name||Mark Nelson Chesnutt|
|Born||September 6, 1963|
|Origin||Beaumont, Texas, USA|
|Instruments||Vocals, rhythm guitar|
|Associated acts||Mark Wright|
Mark Nelson Chesnutt (born September 6, 1963 in Beaumont, Texas) is an American country music singer. Chesnutt recorded and released his first album, Doing My Country Thing, in the late-1980s on private independent record label, Axbar Records, with the vinyl album version now a collector's item. His national debut came in 1990 with the single, "Too Cold at Home", the debut single from his second album which was also titled Too Cold at Home.
Chesnutt has charted more than thirty singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including eight No. 1 singles. He has also released eleven studio albums and a Greatest Hits package. His first three albums — Too Cold at Home (1990), Longnecks & Short Stories (1992), and Almost Goodbye (1993) — and his 1996 Greatest Hits album have all achieved RIAA platinum certification in the United States, while 1994's What a Way to Live was certified gold. His most recent album, Rollin' with the Flow, was released on June 24, 2008. Its title track and lead-off single was a cover of Charlie Rich's hit single from 1977.
Chesnutt is the second son of Bob Chesnutt and Norma Jean Nicholas. He learned to love music from his father, who was a singer and record collector. Chesnutt dropped out of school after his sophomore year of high school to begin playing with his father in clubs around Southeast Texas. When he turned 17, his father began to take him to Nashville, Tennessee to begin recording. For the next ten years, Chesnutt began to record on small regional labels while he was the house band for local Beaumont nightclub Cutters. He slowly gathered a large fanbase who loved to hear his traditional style. By the late 1980s, he had released eight singles, which would later be released together on, Doing My Country Thing. Chesnutt has been married to his wife, Tracie, since 1992. Together they have three sons.
 Musical career
 Too Cold at Home
Chesnutt signed to MCA Records in 1990, releasing his major-label debut Too Cold at Home that year. The album produced five straight Top Ten country hits: first the No. 3 title track followed by his first No. 1 hit, "Brother Jukebox". After it came "Blame It on Texas", "Your Love Is a Miracle", and "Broken Promise Land". These singles helped the album earn RIAA platinum certification in the United States.
 Longnecks & Short Stories
Chesnutt's second album, 1992's Longnecks & Short Stories, also sold platinum and continued the chart momentum of Too Cold at Home. In order of release, its singles were "Old Flames Have New Names", "I'll Think of Something" (previously a Top Ten hit in 1974 for Hank Williams, Jr.), "Bubba Shot the Jukebox", and "Ol' Country".
 Almost Goodbye
His third album for MCA was titled Almost Goodbye. Led off by three straight chart-toppers ("It Sure Is Monday", the title track, and "I Just Wanted You to Know"), it was also Chesnutt's third consecutive platinum album. The album's fourth single, a cover of Don Gibson's 1972 No. 1 hit "Woman (Sensuous Woman)", became his first single to land outside the Top Ten when it peaked at number 21.
 What a Way to Live
Chesnutt saw his sales declining by 1994's What a Way to Live, which was nonetheless certified gold. The album included four more singles for him. First was the number 6 "She Dreams", previously a number 74 single in 1993 for its co-writer, Tim Mensy. After it came the number 2 "Goin' Through the Big D" and then his sixth number-one hit, "Gonna Get a Life." Finishing off the album was the number 23 "Down in Tennessee."
 Wings and Greatest Hits
For his next album, Wings, Chesnutt was transferred to Decca Records' newly re-established Nashville branch, of which he served as flagship artist. This album, however, sold even more poorly than its predecessors, with its lead-off single "Trouble" stopping at number 18. The album's second single, "It Wouldn't Hurt to Have Wings", peaked at number 7, followed by the number 37 "Wrong Place, Wrong Time."
Decca issued a greatest hits package in 1996. This album reprised eight of his biggest hits and included two new songs in "It's a Little Too Late" and "Let It Rain," both released as singles. The former became his seventh chart-topper in 1997, and the latter peaked at number 8.
 Thank God for Believers
In 1997, Chesnutt released Thank God for Believers, his second Decca studio album. This album produced a number 2 in its title track late that year. Following this song was "It's Not Over", a re-recording of a song from Longnecks & Short Stories, with guest vocals from Alison Krauss and Vince Gill on the new recording. After it came the number 18 "I Might Even Quit Lovin' You" and number 45 "Wherever You Are", his first chart single to miss the Top 40. (Its chart progress was halted due to Chesnutt not wanting to wait to release the lead single from his next album, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing.")
 I Don't Want to Miss a Thing
His third and final studio album for Decca was entitled I Don't Want to Miss a Thing. Its title track, a cover of the Aerosmith hit, returned him to number-one on the country charts, and brought him to number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. Despite the success of this single, the album's only other release was the number 17 country hit, "This Heartache Never Sleeps", issued before Decca once again closed its country division.
 Lost in the Feeling
Chesnutt returned to MCA for his 2000 album Lost in the Feeling. This album was largely unsuccessful, producing only the number 52 "Fallin' Never Felt So Good" (previously a number 39 single in 1993 for Shawn Camp, its co-writer) and number 59 title track before he exited MCA. In 2001, Chesnutt returned to the Top 40 with the number 21 "A Good Way to Get on My Bad Side", a duet with Tracy Byrd which was also the first single from Byrd's Ten Rounds album.
 Mark Chesnutt
Chesnutt signed to Columbia Records in 2002 for the release of his self-titled studio album. It was led off by the number 11 "She Was", his first Top 20 hit in two years. However, the album's other singles — "I Want My Baby Back" and "I'm in Love with a Married Woman" — both missed Top 40, and after the latter, he exited Columbia also.
 Savin' the Honky Tonk and Heard It in a Love Song
Chesnutt's eleventh album, Savin' the Honky Tonk, was released in 2004 via the independent Vivaton! label. This album, which returned him to a more traditionally country sound, included the singles "The Lord Loves the Drinkin' Man" (written by Kevin Fowler) and "I'm a Saint", both of which peaked in the Top 30. The former pulled by Vivaton! after religious groups started boycotting stations deeming the song "blasphemous". After the number 59 "A Hard Secret to Keep", Vivaton! closed.
Heard It in a Love Song, followed in 2005 on CBuJ. Ent. Its title track, previously a number 14 pop hit for The Marshall Tucker Band, and "That Good That Bad", both failed to chart, and Chesnutt exited the label after its release.
 Rollin' with the Flow
Rollin' with the Flow was the title of Chesnutt's thirteenth studio album, released in 2008 via Lofton Creek Records. It was led off by a cover of Charlie Rich's number-one hit "Rollin' with the Flow", with Chesnutt's number 25-peaking cover becoming his first chart entry in four years. The next three singles were "When You Love Her Like Crazy", "(Come on In) The Whiskey's Fine", and "Things to Do in Wichita," all of which failed to chart, although the fifth single ("She Never Got Me Over You") debuted at number 60 on the country charts in early-2009 and peaked at number 49.
It was announced in March 2010 that Mark Chesnutt was at work on his fourteenth studio album, which consists of covers of outlaw classics such as Hank Williams, Jr.'s "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound" and Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down." The album, titled Outlaw, was released in June 2010 via Saguaro Road Records.
 Guest Appearances
Chesnutt appeared on an episode of the comedy outdoor program Mike and T.K. Outdoors. The episode, titled "Catfishin'", featured Chesnutt attempting to fish with the show's host Mike. Mike stated that his favorite Mark Chesnutt song was Seminole Wind and proceeded to sing part of the song. The song of course was actually sung by John Anderson. He then sung a song he wrote "This Ring Ain't a Thing" for Chesnutt to record and sing on the radio. Chesnutt was annoyed for the entirety of the episode with Mike, but he eventually warmed up to the song.
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