A singer whose style blends country sounds and a pop sensibility, Jessie James Decker was born in Vicenza, Italy on April 12, 1988. Born Jessica Rose James, Decker's somewhat exotic birthplace was a product of her being raised in a military family. By the time she was nine, Decker's family was living in Louisiana, where she won a regional talent contest with a cover of Patsy Montana's "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart." By 15, Decker was living in Georgia. She'd started writing songs, and was paying regular visits to Nashville, making the rounds of record companies and music publishers looking for a deal. She was 17 when she caught the ear of a representative of an independent label, Big Yellow Dog Records, who began shopping her songs to artists and labels. When Mercury Records president David Massey heard Decker's demos, he passed them along to L.A. Reid, head of the affiliated Island/Def Jam label group, and Reid signed her to a record deal.
Her first album, a self-titled effort under the moniker Jessie James, arrived in August 2009. Jessie James was reasonably successful and featured "Wanted," a single that brushed the Top 40 of the singles charts. However, while Decker had always considered herself a country artist, the album was produced and marketed with the pop audience in mind. After two more singles from the album stiffed, Decker battled with label executives for greater control over her music, and her next single, "Boys in the Summer," was a more country-oriented release. Decker's second album, announced under the titles of Daughter of a Gypsy or Sweet American Dreams, was shelved by Mercury, and after three singles fared poorly on the country charts, Decker was released from her contract.
While Decker's recording career was not all she hoped it would be, her personal life was on the upswing. In 2013, she married professional football star Eric Decker, and the couple became the stars of a reality TV series, Eric & Jessie: Game On. The series ran two seasons, and raised her public profile considerably, as did her YouTube channel, which offered beauty and fashion tips to her fans. Now recording as Jessie James Decker, she struck a new record deal with 19 Records, and April 2014 saw the release of the EP Comin Home, which rose to number five on the Country Albums chart. Before long, Decker once again jumped labels, this time to the company that first noticed her, Big Yellow Dog. In January 2015 she released a single, "Clint Eastwood," followed in August by "Lights Down Low," which rose to 38 on the Country Singles chart, her highest placement there to date. An EP of holiday songs, This Christmas, was released by Big Yellow Dog in December 2015.
Early in 2017, Decker switched from Big Yellow Dog to Epic, releasing the Gold EP in February 2017. The EP contained two songs co-written by Maren Morris -- one of Epic's rising country stars of 2016. ~ Mark Deming