It's the stuff of country music lore. A young man - really, just a kid not quite out of his teens - leaves his home in Oklahoma to move to Nashville to pursue his dream of playing and singing country music. The dream led to more success than even that young man had imagined. Success that brought him awards and accolades before he was barely into his 20s. Now, Bryan White is ready to start the next leg of his journey, with a new outlook on life and new music to go along with it.
Bryan began his musical journey by paying his dues as a teenage drummer in his parents' bands before heading to Music City. Once there, he burst on the country music scene in the mid ..90s with a string of six No. 1 singles. One critic called his first two albums "surprisingly mature, both in subject matter and in vocal approach." Although he quickly earned fans of all ages and musical persuasions, it was among young people that he became an instant star in a way few country singers ever have.
Hits like Someone Else's Star," "Rebecca Lynn," "So Much For Pretending" and "I'm Not Supposed To Love You Anymore" helped Bryan's first two albums, the self-titled "Bryan White" and "Between Now And Forever," achieve platinum status. Along the way, press and the industry alike noticed the genuine singing talent behind the good looks and passionate performances and earned Bryan a host of awards. He received the CMA's Horizon award and the Academy of Country Music's Top New Male Vocalist award and was named CMT Rising Star and Male Video Artist of the Year, TNN/Music City News Star of Tomorrow, and SRO Touring Artist of the Year.
He also quickly proved that he was a young man of real depth and substance. Following the terrorist bombing of the federal building in his hometown of Oklahoma City, he set out to raise funds and awareness. Just as he had connected with his young fans, Bryan reached out to a wider audience, using his own rapidly rising fortunes to benefit the lives of others. He helped the Federal Employee Education & Assistance fund reach its $11 million dollar goal and later raised funds for the on-site memorial in Oklahoma City, receiving a special Humanitarian Award from FEEA for his efforts. Bryan has since worked to aid a host of causes ranging from children's issues to AIDS, and was named recipient of the 1997 Entertainment Radio Networks' Humanitarian Award.
Professionally, Bryan continued to stretch himself on a number of fronts. He played drums on musical mentor Steve Wariner's Grammy-nominated instrumental album "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and embarked on the wildly popular "Something To Talk About" tour with LeAnn Rimes. He also proved himself a top songwriter, penning several of his own hits, plus co-writing the Sawyer Brown Top 5 hit "I Don't Believe In Goodbye," BRYAN WHITE Diamond Rio's Top 3 "Imagine That" and cuts for artists like Wynonna, Joe Diffie and Lila McCann. His duet with Shania Twain, "From This Moment On" from her "Come On Over" album, went No.1 and received a Grammy nomination.
A host of special projects followed. Bryan also recorded a duet with Amy Grant for the Atlantic Records project, "The Civil War: The Nashville Sessions," recorded "When You Wish Upon A Star" for "The Best Of Country Sings The Best Of Disney," and was cast as the singing voice for the lead male character in Warner Bros.' first fully-animated major motion picture, "Quest For Camelot."
As his career continued, more of his own hits like "Love Is The Right Place" and "One Small Miracle" climbed the charts, establishing Bryan as one of the big success stories of the '90s - something that came as a surprise as much to Bryan as to anyone. When he started on his journey, he didn't set out to become a star. He was going to be a Nashville session drummer, but deep down, he always had aspirations of being a recording artist. All of his accolades and accomplishments led to opportunities beyond music. Bryan has appeared multiple times on "The Tonight Show," "The Late Show With David Letterman" and "Regis & Kathie Lee." He has also performed on NBC's "Today" and "CBS This Morning" and made a special appearance on the soap opera "The Bold & The Beautiful." Bryan was also named one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People."
Bryan looks with real gratitude on all he's accomplished throughout the years. "To be able to gain notoriety by doing something that's been second nature to me, that's always amazed me," he says. "It's incredible that I've gotten to work with almost all of the people who've influenced me."
In 2000, Bryan took some time off to get away from the craziness of the music business and to start a family. "After 10 long years of building my career and being on the road so much, I was spent, mentally and physically," he says. "I knew I needed to take some time to breathe and do what I'd always dreamed of which was start a family of my own." He did just that, marrying actress Erika Page and bringing sons Justin and Jackson into the world.
But like anyone, Bryan found he couldn't ignore what he had loved doing for so long and started itching to make music again. As a way to step back into the game, Bryan began writing songs with some of Nashville's best and began recording again, just completing his first studio album in four years, "Dustbowl Dreams."
"I had no shortage of inspiration," Bryan laughs. "I've been saving up all of these thoughts and emotions for several years!" With an exciting new project under his belt, Bryan is determined to once again make an impact with his music and to use his talent for good works.
"Music is very powerful..." "With it you can lead or mislead." "In this day and age it's obvious what is screaming for our children's attention." "I want to keep making positive music that not only inspires but leads and encourages others to have hope," he says. "I want to make music that not only causes people to think, but think beyond themselves."
As his journey continues, Bryan White is bringing the lessons of a stellar past to create a future rich with promise.