About the NEA

Lee Greenwood

Nashville, TN

Lee Greenwood is a country music singer and songwriter. Throughout his lengthy career, he has won two Male Vocalist of the Year awards from the Country Music Association and the CMA Song of the Year in 1985 for "God Bless the USA." He won the Top Male Vocal Performance in 1983 for "I.O.U.," and his long string of hits includes such classics as "Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands," "It Turns Me Inside Out," "Somebody’s Gonna Love You," "I Don’t Mind the Thorns (If You’re the Rose)," and "Dixie Road." Growing up on a farm near Sacramento, California, he began playing the saxophone at age seven. By the time he was 14, he could play nearly all the instruments in the school orchestra. While still in junior high school, he launched his first band, the Moonbeams. He became a working musician at a young age and passed on a music/track scholarship to the College of the Pacific and a shot at a professional baseball career to pursue his musical ambitions. Early in his career, he lived in Los Angeles and recorded for Paramount Records but struggled to make a decent living. He opted for Las Vegas, where he became one of the most popular entertainers on the competitive casino circuit. Famed country music manager Larry McFaden discovered him and brought him to the attention of MCA Records Nashville where he teamed with acclaimed producer Jerry Crutchfield to record his groundbreaking country debut album "Inside Out." He soon became one of country radio’s biggest stars with such hits as "It Turns Me Inside Out," "Ain’t No Trick," and "She’s Lying." In 1992, he married Miss Tennessee 1989, and after more than a dozen years of touring, decided to stay in Tennessee, opening the Lee Greenwood Theater in Sevierville where he could perform at home. After five years, he resumed national tours, and after 9/11, his hit song "God Bless the USA" became part of the national healing process. He is currently working on two new recording projects – pop standards and country.