Born in 1971 in Whigham, GA; married Kerry. Addresses: Record company--Audium Records, KOCH Entertainment, LLC, 740 Broadway 7th Floor, New York, NY 10003. Booking--Buddy Lee Attractions Nashville, 38 Music Square East, Nashville, TN 37203.

Known for his traditional country vocals sung in a wholesome baritone, Daryle Singletary's star began to rise over Nashville in the early 1990s. By 2002 he had released three hit singles and five albums. Although the pure country music genre was a liability for some singers in the late 1990s, critics welcomed Singletary and the simple honesty of his classic country sound.

Born in small-town Whigham, Georgia, near Cairo, in 1971, Singletary's soul was drenched in the music that is typical to the rural South. His great-grandmother was a fiddler, and his parents were singers with a gospel group. Stuck on the notion of becoming a country musician, Singletary idolized Randy Travis, George Jones, and other classic country performers. By high school he had formed his own band.

Determined to pursue his music career, after high school Singletary joined a band in Camille and worked odd jobs for a tractor company. He moved to Nashville in 1990 at the encouragement of his friends and began his Nashville career as a roadie for Tanya Tucker. Soon, however, he was singing his way onto stages of local clubs as a contestant on the talent show circuit. He became a regular fixture, or so it seemed, at a club called the Broken Spoke, after winning the club's $100 talent show prize for ten weeks in succession. As he gained exposure, Singletary's reputation began to precede him. James Stroud, then president of Nashville-based Giant Records, made a special trip to the Broken Spoke for the express purpose of hearing the popular young newcomer. Stroud signed Singletary to Giant Records in 1993.

Not surprisingly, Singletary's luscious baritone came to the attention of other powerful music professionals in Nashville. When he met up with his boyhood hero, Randy Travis, Travis's wife signed Singletary to her management company, Jeff Davis/Elizabeth Travis Management. Travis in turn found a spot for newcomer Singletary in a tour entourage.

Even with a contract in hand, it would be 1995 before Singletary would see the release of his first recording. His debut single, called "I'm Living up to Her Low Expectations," appeared on Giant's parent label, Warner, that year. The song was modestly successful, rising to number 39 on the charts. Singletary followed with two more singles, both of which entered the top five--"Let Her Lie" soared to number two, and a follow-up, "Too Much Fun," made its way to number four. Critics hailed Singletary's style and his ear-pleasing baritone. Alanna Nash, writing in Entertainment Weekly, praised his ability to "inhabit" a note.

A self-titled debut album was released near the end of 1995, and "Working It Out," a single from the album, hit number 50 on the charts by the following summer. Singletary was hailed among the favorite new artists of 1996. His sophomore album, All Because of You, appeared in stores on October 8, 1996. Realizing Singletary's potential as a major country star, Giant Records publicized this second release more intensively.

Singletary released a third album, Ain't It the Truth, in 1998. The album, highlighted by a Buck Moore/Michele Ray classic called "The Note," made industry inroads for Singletary. Also on the album, Singletary and his wife, Kerry, performed a mutually heartfelt rendition of a duet called "Miracle in the Making." Life in the 1990s was good to Singletary. In a review of Ain't It the Truth, Ralph Novak of People magazine praised Singletary for an overall "loosey-goosey, playful, good-ol'-boy style."

Singletary is an avid entertainer who thrives on live performance and keeps a six-piece performing band, the Slawdogs, on his payroll. Between the release of his first and second albums a four-wheeler accident took him off his feet with a broken leg, but failed to slow his pace. He barely allowed himself to be incapacitated and kept right on singing and performing. Turning the debility into a positive experience, he adopted the habit of sitting on a stool, a performance technique that gave him an unanticipated intimacy with his audiences. He admitted later, to, that the difficult circumstance introduced a new dimension to his work.

Likewise, a major reorganization that was underway at Singletary's floundering record label, Giant, in 1998 failed to retard the new star's success. While working an average of one day out of every two, he performed 145 live engagements that year. Eager to expand his performance schedule, he signed for a brief booking stint with Creative Artists Agency. He then signed with Buddy Lee Attractions.

By the time Giant Records closed its doors for good in 2001, Singletary had moved forward on his own. In 1999 he had changed managers, from Davis/Travis to the Woody Bowles Company. Later, when a startup management firm called Koch Entertainment inaugurated the Audium Entertainment label, Singletary signed with Audium. He released Now & Again on Audium in 2000. Still touring, he became a regular sight on the summer fair circuit and was included among the long list of country stars appearing at Nashville's Fan Fair 2000.

Plucky in his attitude and enamored with his work, Singletary went on to make what he described to Billboard as "most fun record I ever recorded" in 2002. That's Why I Sing this Way was released on Audium on May 7 that year. Composed almost exclusively of covers, the album features Singletary sharing the spotlight with George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Paycheck.

Included among the album's highlights is a duet between Singletary and Jones, called "Walk Through This World With Me," a song that reached number one as a solo hit in 1967. Singletary is heard also with Haggard on a reprise duet, called "Make-up and Faded Blue Jeans," which was released originally in the 1980s.

Although Paycheck was ailing when the album was in production, Singletary brought the microphone to his hospital room for an updated rendition of the 1986 hit "Old Violin." Other popular performers on the album include Dwight Yoakam and Rhonda Vincent.

In his live performance agenda, Singletary crisscrossed the country from Providence, Rhode Island, to Baton Rouge, and on to Colorado Springs in the summer and fall of 2002. On tour together with Wade Hayes and singer-songwriter Rhett Akins, the three performers staged a show called the "Honky-Tonk Tailgate Party Tour with Rhett Akins." It was Singletary's second go-around with the three-man tour, which featured Jeff Carson in place of Hayes on the first run. Akins, Hayes, and Singletary were joined in September of that year by John Anderson and Blake Shelton for "A Day in the Country" at Glenpool, outside Tulsa, Oklahoma.

by Gloria Cooksey

Daryle Singletary's Career

Signed with Giant Records, 1993; released debut album, 1995; released two additional albums on Giant; signed with Audium Records, 2000; released Now & Again, 2000; released That's Why I Sing This Way, 2002.

Famous Works

Further Reading



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