Country Star Brad Paisley Tributes Success to 'Guitar Gods' and Grandfather


Jarvis passed away when Paisley was 13, but has remained an anchor in his life. The singer also pays tribute to Jarvis in his book.

"I take his talent and his passion with me -- to the stage of the Opry, to the podium at the CMA Awards, to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, into my own living room," Paisley said. "I am the realization of my grandfather's dream. I am a player."

Young Brad Paisley with his grandfather Warren Jarvis. Credit: Courtesy Brad Paisley

While Paisley got his first big break in 1999 with the song, "Who Needs Pictures," that won him a CMA for "Top New Male Vocalist of the Year," it was a rocky road getting from the hills of West Virginia to Nashville's Music Row, the famed street where the biggest names in country music record.

Originally from Glen Dale, W.Va., Paisley almost quit country music a number of times and things didn't go so well for him at the local college, Belmont University.

"They send me to Nashville with these lofty goals of being a big guitar player, and the one class I get a D in, I remember my dad, he was so furious," Paisley said, chuckling.

One of his more recent hits is "Waitin' on a Woman," but this songwriter couldn't have scripted a better love story than his own real life version with actress Kimberly Williams Paisley, the daughter in the "Father of the Bride" movies.

Paisley had gone to see the sequel alone hoping his ex-girlfriend at the time would meet him at the theater and rekindle their relationship. The ex didn't show, and that's when Paisley's attention focused on the woman on the silver screen in front of him.

"That's a weird feeling because I know in my heart what really happened, which was, I went to see that movie, didn't work out, and then, really, just had this idea later -- I either want somebody just like the girl in that, or literally, I remember thinking, that's who I belong with. It was as clear as that," he explained.

Paisley's plan for getting the movie star's attention was to ask her to be in his music video for "I'm Gonna Miss Her." The couple started dating in 2001 and married in 2003. They have two sons, Huck, 4, and Jasper, 2.

Now the owner of his own recording studio and mentor to new country artists -- Paisley co-wrote "What If She Is" with up-and-comer Brent Anderson -- the singer lives by the mantra that it takes 10,000 hours to become really good at something.

"There are some people who drink, who seek counseling, eat, or watch TV, cry, sleep, and so on," Paisley writes in his book. "I play."

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