Bio

Eric Paslay definitely knows how to craft a hit song. Jake Owen, Love and Theft and the Eli Young Band have all scored No. 1 singles thanks to Paslay’s songwriting prowess, but fans who have seen him on stage will testify there is so much more to the tall, Texas redhead than his excellent songwriting chops.  Paslay is a charismatic performer and a potent vocalist who knows how to connect with an audience. As his single “Friday Night” reached the No. 1 spot, Paslay has arrived as an artist in his own right.

“Friday Night,” Paslay’s first No. 1 single as an artist, serves as an inviting preview to his EMI Records Nashville debut album, a vibrant collection of songs that cover a wide expanse of emotional territory from the aching ballad “She Don’t Love You” to the clever up tempo “Song About A Girl” and the poignant, uplifting “Deep As It Is Wide.” Working with producers Marshall Altman, Daniel Hill and Billy Lynn, Paslay has created a colorful sonic landscape. “Life isn’t always the same heartbeat so I don’t want to have an album of songs at the same tempo,” Paslay says of the musical and lyrical diversity displayed on his eponymous debut. “Every song has a shimmer of everyone’s life in it from the memories of falling in love to living with someone for the rest of your life and knowing that there’s something at the end of the tunnel to live for. Some of it is not too deep and some of it is.”

Therein lies Paslay’s charm. He is a deep thinker and soulful philosopher capable of shooting a lyric straight into your heart and making you catch your breath, but he is also witty, playful and equally skilled at getting the party started. He is the guy other men want to have a beer with and all the girls want to take home for Sunday dinner. His engaging, enigmatic personality shines through in all his songs from “Less Than Whole,” a powerful treatise on forgiveness and redemption that he penned with Big Kenny to the sultry, sexy romp “Good With Wine,” a great date song.

Paslay creates music that becomes part of the soundtrack of people’s lives, and in doing so he has helped shaped the sound of today’s country radio. Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” which Paslay wrote with Dylan Altman and Terry Sawchuk, was named ASCAP’s 2012 Country Song of the Year. The Eli Young Band’s “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” written by Paslay and Will Hoge, was nominated for a 2013 GRAMMY for Best Country Song and CMA Song Of The Year in 2012. He also co-wrote Love and Theft’s No. 1 hit “Angel Eyes,” as well as Rascal Flatt’s new single “Rewind.” He has also penned tunes for many other artists among them Amy Grant, Donny & Marie Osmond and Lady Antebellum. His distinctive voice has also earned him some pretty substantial fans. Dionne Warwick and Kenny Rogers have sought him out to record duets, and Amy Grant recruited Paslay to join her and Sheryl Crow when she covered Paslay’s “Deep As It Is Wide” on her latest album.

It all started for Paslay when he began playing guitar and writing songs at 15. “I wrote a poem for a girl,” he recalls with a grin. “I never gave it to her and then I discovered that most songs are poems, so I just put a melody and chords to the poem and there was my first song. By the time I was 16, I’d already made a CD on my home computer of about 10 or 11 songs that I played out around Texas. Those records will come back and haunt me someday, but I know there are little jewels in there. I’m glad that I wasn’t too afraid to put it out there, just to start creating music and sharing it with people.”

Born in Abilene, Texas and raised in Waco and Temple, Paslay has always loved music, but his original intent was to become a pediatric endocrinologist. “I have diabetes and I thought I could help kids with diabetes because I could relate to them and talk to them,” he says, but music has always been in his blood. “My granddad was a musician. He and his brothers had a band called Arnold Schiller and the Moonlight Serenaders. My grandfather was Arnold, and they played at dance halls. I was two and a half when he died. The first time I played the Grand Ole Opry, I closed my eyes and thought of him.”

When Paslay moved to Nashville to pursue a music career, his first stop was Middle Tennessee State University where he majored in music business. He became president of MTSU’s student chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). He recruited top Music Row writers to speak at the university. He also volunteered for anything just to get his foot further in the door and did everything from help out at a charity golf tournament to change light bulbs in the NARAS office, a feat made easier because of his 6’4” height. “I’d just go help anywhere I could because I thought if you have a job to do and you do it well, then if they let you be creative and make a record, at least they know you’re going to do it well,” Paslay says. “They’ll know you are going to put all your mind, strength and skill into doing whatever job they give you.”

An internship at publishing company Cal IV Entertainment proved to be a valuable step for the budding songwriter. He not only learned about the publishing business, but the craft of songwriting, eventually landing his own deal with the Cal IV in 2006. His songwriting and his impressive voice began garnering attention from labels and he signed with EMI Records Nashville.

Though he is appreciative of his cuts by other artists, Paslay says the reason he began writing songs is because he wanted to sing them for people. “I turn it on when I get on stage.  I love to entertain,” says Paslay, who has opened for Dierks Bentley, Clint Black, Eric Church, Blake Shelton and Little Big Town, among others. “The songs on this record are the ones that really connect when I play them live. When I write, I’d rather there be a little bit of hope in every song, even in the sad songs. There is still hope in there. With all the negativity everywhere these days, I’d like the positive to come out. A song can give you a little boost in confidence or make you fall in love deeper or dream higher.  I’m not writing and singing this stuff to be cool. I was never the cool kid. I was the kid standing in the back of the room watching.”

These days Eric Paslay has moved from the back of the room to center stage. “It’s like someone flipped a switch on and people know what I do now,” he says with a smile, “but the coolest thing is there’s always that moment that you dream of when you have a hit song and you can stop singing and the audience keeps singing it. With ‘Friday Night,’ that’s started to happen. I’ll sing ‘I want to be your…’ and I’ll point to the crowd and they’ll go ‘Friday Night!’ That’s one of those moments that every kid dreams about – singing a song and the crowd knows it so well that they sing it back to you. You get to sing it together. I’m glad I’m getting to experience that as a performer. To have a hit that radio has played so much that people are singing back to you, it’s pretty cool.”

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CHRISTMAS 2017: Eric Paslay

Eric Paslay grew up in Texas with much of his extended family in the same town, so there were many toys to play with at Christmas time.

“I remember always [on] Christmas Eve, we’d go to my Mom’s mother’s house, my grandmother, and we’d open up gifts kinda from the family,” he says. “And my great-aunt, lived across the street, so all of those cousins, we’d go over there and hang out and steal some more cookies and kind of show…what’cha got and play with the toy for five minutes and move on to the other cousin’s toys.”

Audio / Eric Paslay talks about his Christmas holidays when he was a child.

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Eric Paslay (Christmases growing up) OC: …and football. :37

“I remember always [on] Christmas Eve, we’d go to my Mom’s mother’s house, my grandmother, and we’d open up gifts kinda from the family. And my great-aunt, lived across the street, so all of those cousins, we’d go over there and hang out and steal some more cookies and kind of show…what’cha got and play with the toy for five minutes and move on to the other cousin’s toys. And then the next morning, maybe when we were younger, open up some more presents, you know, and then go to my other grandparents’ [house], my dad’s parents and hang out with that family, and it was always fun. We’d always have turkey, ham and football.”

Audio / Eric Paslay talks about his favorite Christmas song.

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Eric Paslay (Christmas Song) OC: …Christmas. :07
“My favorite Christmas song is ‘Away in a Manger.’ The melody’s so beautiful, and I think it’s the true meaning of Christmas.”

CHRISTMAS 2017 LINERS

Holiday liners from UMG Nashville artists, including Alan Jackson, Billy Currington, Brandon Lay, Brothers Osborne, Canaan Smith, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Easton Corbin, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Gary Allan, George Strait, Jon Pardi, Jordan Davis, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Lady Antebellum, Lauren Alaina, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and more!

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LINER AJ (Christmas)
“Hi! This is Alan Jackson, and I’m wishing y’all a very Merry Christmas.”

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LINER Billy Currington (Happy Holiday Season)
“Hi! Billy Currington here, wishing you and your family a safe and Happy Holiday Season.”

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LINER Brothers Osborne (Christmas)
“Hey! This is T.J., and I’m John, and we are Brothers Osborne, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

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LINER Canaan Smith (Christmas)
“Hey! What’s up guys? I’m Canaan Smith, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

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LINER Darius Rucker (Christmas)
“Hey y’all! What’s up? This is Darius Rucker, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

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LINER Dierks Bentley (Christmas)
“Hey! This is Dierks Bentley
, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

 

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LINER Easton Corbin (Merry Christmas)
“Hey everybody! This is Easton Corbin, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

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LINER Easton Corbin (Happy Holidays)
“Hey everybody! This is Easton Corbin, wishing you and your family a Happy Holidays.”

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LINER Eric Church (Christmas)
“Hey everybody! It’s Eric Church, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

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LINER Eric Paslay (Christmas)
“Hi! I’m Eric Paslay. Hope you have a Merry Christmas.”

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LINER Eric Paslay (Holiday Season)
“Hi! I’m Eric Paslay, wishing you a very Happy Holiday Season.”

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LINER Gary Allan (MerryChristmas)
“Hey! This is Gary Allan. Merry Christmas.”

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LINER George Strait (Happy Holidays)
““Hey everybody! This is George Strait, wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday season.”

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LINER Jon Pardi (Merry Christmas)
“Hey! This is Jon Pardi, wishing you a Merry Christmas!”

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LINER Kacey Musgraves (Christmas)
“Hey! This is Kacey Musgraves, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

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LINER Keith Urban (Christmas)
“Hi folks, this is Keith Urban, wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.”

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LINER Keith Urban (Holiday season)
“Hi everyone, this is Keith Urban, wishing you and all your family the very best this holiday season.”

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LINER Kip Moore (Christmas)
“Hey guys, this is Kip Moore, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

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LINER Kip Moore (Happy Holidays)
“Hey y’all, it’s Kip Moore. Happy Holidays!”

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LINER Lady A (Christmas)
“Hey everybody! We’re Lady Antebellum, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

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LINER Lady A (Happy Holidays)
“Hey everybody! We are Lady Antebellum. Happy Holidays.”

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LINER Lauren Alaina (Christmas)
“Hey! This is Lauren Alaina, wishing you a Merry Christmas.”

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LINER George Strait (Happy Holidays)
““Hey everybody! This is George Strait, wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday season.”

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LINER LBT (Christmas)
“Hey! We’re Little Big Town, wishing you a very Merry Christmas.”

THANKSGIVING 2017

The Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth, in the state that’s now known as Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s. People now celebrate the holiday by giving thanks for their blessings over the past year, as well as feasting on turkey and other festive goodies.

Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 23rd, and most people will be enjoying time with their friends and families, including some of your favorite country stars, such as Alan Jackson, Brothers Osborne, Canaan Smith, Clare Dunn, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Easton Corbin, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Josh Turner, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Mickey Guyton, Sam Hunt and more. They share their thoughts, memories and favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

Audio / Alan Jackson talks about his favorite Thanksgiving dish.

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AJ (Thanksgiving) OC: …enjoy it. :19
“My favorite Thanksgiving dish would be the homemade dressin’ that we, cornbread-based kind of dressin’ that we always have with turkey. That recipe is a kind of a combination of my mama, and Denise has taken it and perfected it over the years, so that me and my children really enjoy it.”

Audio / Brothers Osborne’s John Osborne talks about their annual Misfits Thanksgiving dinner.

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Brothers Osborne (misfits Thanksgiving) OC: …going home. :45
“What we’ve done the past several years is because it’s so hard to go home, we would have what we call the Misfit Thanksgiving dinner, and all the people in Nashville who aren’t able to go home to their families, we would just invite them over to our house and have a big potluck style Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll take like a couple of tables and throw them together and throw some sheets on it just to make it look nice. It’s a very redneck display of like tableware, because all the plates don’t match and the forks and knives don’t match, but we don’t care. People will bring wine, and at the end of the day, we’ll probably have 12-15 people all sitting at dinner together that weren’t able to go home with their families, and just enjoy it with friends. It’s been really fun. Definitely a lot less stress than going home.”

Audio / Canaan Smith says his favorite Thanksgiving dish is pumpkin pie.

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Canaan Smith (pumpkin pie) OC: …Thanksgiving. :14
“Pumpkin pie is where it’s at. My mom makes the best. She got it from her mom, my Nanny. It’s so good. It’s made from scratch. Everything about it, it’s just mouthwatering. I love it. I can’t get enough. If I could get fat, it’d be from pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.”

Audio / Clare Dunn talks about her favorite Thanksgiving side dish.

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Clare Dunn (Thanksgiving dish) OC: …like hers. :21
“I think my favorite Thanksgiving dish [is] my mom makes the best mashed potatoes in the world. I mean, they’re crazy. They’re like garlic and butter and all the good stuff, so that’s probably my favorite Thanksgiving dish. Oh, and she makes great stuffing too, and I’m not a stuffing person, but I like hers.”

Audio / Darius Rucker talks about his favorite part of Thanksgiving.

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Darius Rucker (favorite part of Thanksgiving) OC: …my family. :17
“My favorite part of Thanksgiving is easy – it’s food. It’s eating. It’s hanging out with family and getting some great food, ‘cause that’s really what Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all of the great things you’ve got, and I always give thanks for the greatest thing I’ve got and that’s my family.”

Audio / Easton Corbin talks about spending Thanksgiving with family.

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Easton (Thanksgiving) OC: …my grandma’s. :33
“Having family and being able to spend that quality time with them and obviously, the opportunity to do what I do. But absolutely during that time, being able to spend that time with family and your loved ones. We used to always go to my grandma’s, that’s Christmas and Thanksgiving. We’d go there for the big meal. I don’t get to go back much. A lot of times I’ll stay up [in Nashville] for Thanksgiving, and then go down during Christmas, but we’d always go to my grandma’s.”

Audio / Eric Church says he’s thankful for his family as well as for his fans.

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Eric Church (Thanksgiving) OC: …want to do it. :23
“A couple of things. I’m thankful for my family and great health. And I’m thankful for from a career standpoint, I’m very thankful for the success we’ve had lately. I’m thankful for what the fans have done. I mean there’s a lot of stuff to be thankful for in that regard. And I’m thankful that I was given the opportunity to do it my own way. I’m thankful that I’m going to get to keep doing this and do it the way that I want to do it.”

Audio / Eric Paslay talks about his favorite Thanksgiving memories.

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Eric Paslay (Thanksgiving) OC: …too much. :05
“My best Thanksgiving memory, I think, is just hanging out with family, watching football and eating too much!”

Audio / Josh Turner shares his favorite Thanksgiving side dish.

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Josh Turner (fave side dish) OC: …’em myself. [laughs] :24
“Uh, deviled eggs! [laughs] Where I’m from in South Carolina, I don’t think I’ve tasted a bad deviled egg. It’s like everybody has their own twist on it, but they’re all good, but I always loved it when my mama made ‘em. I’m learning as I get older, making deviled eggs is no easy task. It’s more complicated than it looks, and so that’s probably why I never made ‘em myself.” [laughs]

Audio / Keith Urban will be celebrating Thanksgiving at home in Nashville, along with his wife, daughters and mother, who is flying in from Australia this weekend. He recalls the very first Thanksgiving he spent in the States.

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Keith Urban (1st American Thanksgiving) OC: …immediately. [laughs] :44
“The first Thanksgiving I ever had here, which was 25 years ago, ‘cause I’ve been here a long time now. But the first one I ever had, I remember going to this family’s home, they invited me to Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t believe the volume of food. It was insane. I’ve never seen so much food in my life. Then after the food, there was like 12 desserts. I was like, ‘Why are there so many desserts?’ They said, ‘Well, because every Aunt and every Grandma, everybody brought their thing, their special dessert, and you have to try every one of ‘em.’ I’m like, ‘There’s like THREE apple cobblers.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, but they’re made by different people and they’re all watching, so you have to make sure you try everything up there.’ [laughs] I was in love with Thanksgiving immediately.” [laughs]

Audio / Kip Moore talks about his annual Thanksgiving plans to go home to visit with his family.

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Kip Moore (Thanksgiving) OC: …with them. :11
“I [usually] go home for Thanksgiving. I love going home to see all them. I have five brothers and sisters and it’s a blast to go home and just catch up on their lives. I get so wrapped up in all this that I lose touch sometimes, and it’s cool to hear everything going on with them.”

Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott describes her favorite Thanksgiving dish.

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Lady A (Hillary-Thanksgiving food) OC: …ever tasted. :12
“So, my favorite Thanksgiving food would have to be my grandmother’s sweet potato casserole. There’s just something she puts in it — probably all the love – that makes it better than anything I’ve ever tasted.”

Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley talks about one of his favorite Thanksgiving memories.

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Lady A (Charles-Thanksgiving eating contest) OC: …five pounds! :25
“One of my most memorable Thanksgiving memories was probably the first year that me and my two brothers (John and Josh) decided to start our annual eating contest where we ate throughout the whole day. We started that morning and weighed ourselves and at the very end of the night, we weighed ourselves out and all three of us equally gained five pounds. I wish we had a more accurate scale to decide the winner, but we all tied. Five pounds!”

Audio / The members of Little Big Town love Thanksgiving since they get time off to be with their families.

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LBT (Thanksgiving) 2 OC: (Kimberly) …and eat. :31
KIMBERLY: “Thanksgiving—we love Thanksgiving, ‘cause we get to be with our families and we don’t often get to spend time with our families, our extended families, until the holidays. I love being around the table with my family and talking and laughing and cooking and eating…” JIMI: “And eating and eating and eating and eating…” PHILLIP: “The laughter around the eating, the good cheer, the celebration, the music…” JIMI: “The eating, going taking a nap, then coming back and eating.” KIMBERLY: “Go to bed with a full belly, take a nap, and then get up and eat.”

Audio / Mickey Guyton talks about one of her favorite Thanksgiving traditions.

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Mickey Guyton (Thanksgiving traditions) OC: …Thanksgiving traditions. :17
“One of my Thanksgiving traditions is playing charades after Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not the most competitive person in the world, but as soon as you put some Charades in the picture, I am crazy, and you will definitely want to be on my team if we’re playing Charades. I’m just saying. So, that’s one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions.”

Audio / Sam Hunt talks about his favorite Thanksgiving meal.

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Sam Hunt (Thanksgiving eats) OC: …glass of milk. :34
“When I pile my plate up, it’s mostly turkey and then I’ll put a little dressing on the side, and I’ll usually go ahead and grab my dessert on the first run [laughs] and have it ready before it all disappears. Those are the really the three things. It’s strange, but since I was very young, I’ve always loved drinking milk, my brothers too, we drank lots of milk. My cousins, who grew up down the road, they always looked at us funny when we wanted to drink milk with our Thanksgiving meal. They would have coke or whatever else. So, I still get turkey, dressing, a piece of pecan pie and a big ole glass of milk.”

 

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