4 Grammy Awards - 3 CMA Awards - 14 #1 Hits
More than twenty albums and five decades into his career, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Steve Wariner has become a modern-day multi-genre icon, earning fourteen #1 hits, over 30 Top 10 singles, three Gold albums, four GRAMMY Awards, three CMA Awards, one ACM Award, a Christian Country Music Association Award, a TNN/Music City News Award, a CMA Triple Play Award,and 15 BMI Million-Air Awards. He is a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame, the Music City Walk of Fame, and one of only five guitar players in the world to be given the "Certified Guitar Player" (CGP) award by Chet Atkins.
As an award-winning songwriter, he has composed songs for Clint Black(“Nothin’ But the Taillights”), Garth Brooks(“Longneck Bottle”), Bryan White(“One Small Miracle”), and Keith Urban(“Where the Blacktop Ends”), as well as songs for artists such as Country Music Hall of Fame members Alabama, Kenny Rogers, The Statler Brothers, Conway Twitty,and Don Williams; pop music icon Peter Tork(of The Monkees); R&B singer Ruben Studdard; bluegrass music’s Del McCoury Band, and many more.
Born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1954, Steve Wariner got his start in music at the tender age of 10, when he played drums in his father’s band. The Noblesville, Indiana-native later learned bass and played in local clubs. One night while performing in a club in Indianapolis, legendary country singer and recently announced Country Music Hall of Fame honoree, Dottie West, happened to be there and spotted the talented teenager. West convinced the seventeen-year-old to make the bold move from Indiana to Music City to join her band. Upon accepting the offer, Wariner played bass for three years with her before moving on to play in Grand Ole Opry member, Bob Luman’s band.
In the 70’s, Wariner’s life and career forever changed when he met his idol and guitar extraordinaire Chet Atkins through guitar virtuoso Paul Yandell. Atkins hired Wariner to play bass in his band and eventually signed him to his first recording contract at RCA Records in 1977. His first single, “I’m Already Taken,” peaked at #63 on the Country charts and was later re-recorded by Country icon Conway Twitty. Wariner’s first Top 40 hit was “Your Memory,” which was released in 1980 and peaked at #7 on the Country charts, and his first #1 single was “All Roads Lead to You,” which was released in 1981.
While on the rise, Wariner left RCA in 1984 and signed with MCA Records, the label that would catapult him to achieve some of his biggest hits spanning into the 90s, including “What I Didn’t Do,” “Heart Trouble” and “Some Fools Never Learn.” His star began to shine brighter as his music made its way into television. In 1986, he recorded the theme song for ABC’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning TV sitcom, “Who’s The Boss?”
Wariner moved over to Arista Records in 1991 where he released his album I Am Ready. Shortly after, he earned his first GRAMMY Award for Best Country Vocal Collaboration as a guest vocalist on the single “Restless,” along with instrumentalists Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and Mark O’Connor.
He followed up this honor in 1998 with two wins at the American Country Music Awards, where “Holes in the Floor of Heaven” won Song of the Year and Single of the Year.
The next year Wariner signed to Capitol Records Nashville where his album, Two Teardrops was certified gold. During that time, he won the GRAMMY Award for Best Country Instrumental as a musician on the Asleep at the Wheel song, “Bob’s Breakdown;” an award he would win again in 2008 for his collaboration with Brad Paisley for the single, “Cluster Puck” and in 2010 for “Producer’s Medley,” a track on Wariner’s album My Tribute to Chet Atkins.
Over the course of his career, Wariner’s passion for writing, playing and singing music remains undiminished. He has served as an extraordinary role model and inspiration to artists in many genres and has become an excellent example of one our industry’s most talented and professional artists, songwriters and musicians, and has proven to be a triple threat; an award-winning artist, musician, and songwriter.