According to the man himself, "music is not only my life, it's my soulmate." Country singer and Nashville Star 2004 winner Brad Cotter grew up in Auburn, AL, with a preacher for a father. Singing in the church's choir introduced Cotter to the way music can touch people's hearts, and he decided it was what he wanted to do the rest of his life. Between the ages of 11 and 17, he released five gospel albums where he sang, but he was still learning to play piano, guitar, drums, and bass. At age 25 he started freelancing his voice for demos and began writing songs for the Warner/Chappell and EMI Music companies.
Nobody would sign him as a solo artist, so tried his luck on Nashville Star, a talent show like American Idol but with a country twist. Viewers fell in love with his good looks, solid voice, and gracious, amiable attitude. There was tough competition the whole way, especially on the grand finale that found Cotter going up against the more traditional George Canyon. Cotter performed his own song, "I Miss Me," along with a stunning version of Tom Petty's "The Waiting," and he stole the show along with the title. The singer who had "been turned down by every label in Nashville at least four times" now found himself with a contract with Sony Music Nashville. The label issued his debut, Patient Man, in July of 2004. ~ David Jeffries