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Joe Nichols was born and raised in Rogers, Arkansas. His father, who worked a trucker, also played bass guitar in a local country band; eventually, Nichols himself found work in a local rock band, before taking a job as a country disc jockey.

 

Through a meeting with record producer Randy Edwards, Nichols began to work on his singing and songwriting skills. At age twenty, he was signed to his first record deal, with an independent label known as Intersound Records. There, Nichols released his first album, 1996's Joe Nichols. Despite the minor success of its lead-off single "Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other" (which reached #74 on the RPM country charts in Canada), the album did not sell well, and he was dropped from Intersound's roster. A second record deal, this time with Warner Bros. Records, was short-lived, and did not produce any singles or albums.

 

In 1999, Nichols met Brent Rowan, a Nashville session guitarist who helped him land a recording contract with Universal South Records, then a newly-formed label. 2002 saw the release of his second album, entitled Man with a Memory. Its lead-off single, "The Impossible", went on to become a Top Ten hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, and was declared by Billboard as the tenth most-played country song of 2003. The same year, his debut album was re-issued under the title Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other.

 

By then a platinum-certified album in the U.S., Man with a Memory earned Nichols a Top New Male Vocalist award from the Academy of Country Music, as well as three Grammy Award nominations. Its second single, "Brokenheartsville", became his first Number One hit on the Billboard country charts in 2003, while "She Only Smokes When She Drinks" and "Cool to Be a Fool" both reached Top 20.

 

Nichols spent most of 2004 on tour with Alan Jackson. In the middle of the year, he issued his second album for Universal South. Entitled Revelation, it produced the Top Ten hits "If Nobody Believed in You" and "What's a Guy Gotta Do". Later that same year, he also issued an album of Christmas music, entitled A Traditional Christmas. Four of the tracks from this album received enough airplay to enter the country charts.

 

III was the title of Nichols's third album for Universal South. Its lead-off single, "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off", became his second Billboard Number One hit; both the single and the album received gold certifications from the RIAA. III also produced the Top Ten hits "Size Matters (Someday)" and "I'll Wait for You". Also in 2005, Anna Nicole Smith met Nichols at the Grand Ole Opry and she became a fan. After Smith's death, he performed two songs ("Wings of a Dove" and "I'll Wait for You") at her funeral service. Nichols also joined Toby Keith on tours in both 2005 and 2006.

 

Real Things is the title of Nichols's fourth Universal South album, released in mid-2007. Its lead-off single, "Another Side of You", reached Top 20 on the country music charts, as did the follow-up, "It Ain't No Crime". Also included on this album was the song "Let's Get Drunk and Fight", which Canadian singer Aaron Lines released as a single in 2008.

 

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