David Fanning

Modern country artist David Fanning learned the nuts and bolts of making a hit record from the inside -- he was a successful producer, songwriter, and sideman for other Nashville acts before he struck out on his own. Fanning was born in 1987 in Ardmore, Alabama, near the Alabama-Tennessee border. He grew up on country radio, and was especially fond of '90s Nashville hitmakers such as Kenny Chesney, David Lee Murphy, and Neal McCoy. Fanning had an interest in recording and production, and was training himself to use Pro Tools recording software when he was just 14 years old. When Fanning was 20, he decided he was tired of dreaming about a career in the music business and should start doing something about it, so he moved to Nashville and soon struck up a friendship with Rich Redmond, Kurt Allison, and Tully Kennedy, who had formed a songwriting and production team called New Voice Entertainment and were working with Jason Aldean and his band. Fanning was soon invited to join New Voice, and within a few years he had racked up three number one country hits as a producer -- "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" and "If I Didn't Have You" by Thompson Square, and "Carolina" by Parmalee. Fanning's first success as a performer came as a fluke -- Storme Warren, a disc jockey on SiriusXM country radio, was going to have Justin Timberlake as a guest on his show, and wanted to play a country-accented version of one of the pop star's tunes on the program. Warren asked Fanning to come up with a track, and 36 hours later, Fanning delivered a tough but twangy cover of "Drink You Away." Timberlake gave the track his seal of approval, praising Fanning's recording on Twitter, and Red Bow Records, a division of established Nashville independent label Broken Bow Records, released it as a single. The track fared well on country radio, and Fanning soon had a deal as a performer; in 2015, he dropped his second single, "Doin' Country Right," and was expected to release an album later the same year. ~ Mark Deming

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