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If you want to get to know AARON LEWIS, just listen to The Road. On his first full-length album, the Grammy Award-nominated, multi-platinum singer, songwriter, and guitarist tells one story after another. Echoing traditional country, some of those tales are hilarious and heartwarming, while others are pensive and personal. Nevertheless, they're all equally powerful, vibrant, and unforgettable. For Lewis, The Road continues to wind and surprise like it always has.
In 2011, the Staind frontman formally arrived in the country world with the release of his debut EP, Town Line. Highlighted by the success of gold-selling single "Country Boy" featuring the legendary George Jones and Charlie Daniels, the seven-song EP reached #1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and #7 on the Billboard Top 200 upon release. Critical praise followed: PEOPLE's Chuck Arnold said, "He proves to be a natural on nostalgic ballads like 'The Story Never Ends,' (3/14/11)," while the ASSOCIATED PRESS' Michael McCall wrote, "He injects a flavor of his own into a polished, commercial country sound in a way that could win over country fans who've never heard of Staind (2/28/11)."
Lewis also received two Academy of Country Music nominations for "Vocal Event of the Year" for "Country Boy" (for his work as artist and as co-producer) as well as two CMT nominations--one for "USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year" and another for "Collaborative Video of the Year." Simultaneously, the music video for the single stirred similar fan fervor, surpassing 12 million views on YouTube and 3 million on CMT.com. After a whirlwind year, Lewis began working on what would become The Road in the fall of 2011. While balancing both a solo run and a tour supporting Staind's self-titled seventh studio album, he carved out intermittent pockets of time to record in Nashville with legendary Grammy-winning producer James Stroud.
In many ways, The Road brings things full circle for Lewis. In Staind, he has made an indelible mark on hard rock. The group has sold 13 million albums worldwide, yielding four consecutive top 3 debuts on the Billboard Top 200 as well as numerous radio hits. Their single "It's Been Awhile" also remains the most-played rock song of the decade. Still, this new chapter proves cyclical for Lewis, actually bringing him back to the first style of music he'd heard: country music.
Now, he's carrying on a tradition of storytelling and songwriting himself. "I'm really hoping the songs speak for themselves," he concludes. "I hope people hear the record and realize that this is all me. There's nothing more to say. I'm just writing songs like I have been for my whole career." That's all he really has to do. For Aaron Lewis, The Road looks brighter than ever.
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