Country star kindles sparks: Clint Black at John Ascuaga’s Nugget on Sunday
What better way to show your sweetie some love than to spend it a country superstar? And few stars in the country music world shine brighter than Clint Black.
Black, a multiplatinum seller, with 13 No. 1 country hits, who has played a Super Bowl halftime show and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, will perform in the Rose Ballroom at John Ascuaga’s Nugget on Sunday, Feb. 17. Tickets are $79 and $84 and are available by calling (800) 648-1177 or (775) 356-3300 or by visiting janugget.com.
A country traditionalist from Texas, Black helped kick-start the mass-market popularity of country in the ’90s. The country traditionalist from Texas also was one of the first artists who drew as much inspiration from rock-oriented pop as country artists such as Merle Haggard, Bob Wills and George Jones. He offered a polished, marketable version of traditional country, and in the process paved the way for the likes of Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and Brooks and Dunn.
Black was born in New Jersey and raised in the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas. As a child, he listened to both rock and country, but he didn’t begin playing guitar until age 13. Two years later, he began writing songs, and playing bass and singing in his brother Kevin’s band.
In 1987, Black met Hayden Nicholas, a guitarist and songwriter with a home studio. The pair began collaborating, writing songs and recording demos. Nicholas would become Black’s bandleader, playing lead guitar and co-writing a majority of his hit singles. A tape of their songs made its way to Bill Ham, manager of ZZ Top, who would also become Black’s manager.
Black released his first single, “A Better Man,” early in 1989, and it went to No. 1, making him the first new male country artist to have a No. 1 hit with his debut single in 15 years. Black played the Grand Ole Opry in April, one month before the release of his debut album,” Killin’ Time,” which went gold within six months and spawned four hit singles.
In 1990, Black released his second album, “Put Yourself in My Shoes,” which also generated four top-10 hits, sold more than 2 million copies and peaked at No. 18 on the pop charts. Throughout 1990, Black was on tour with Alabama and appeared on television shows across the country. That was a banner year for Black: he earned induction into the Grand Ole Opry. and married actress Lisa Hartman on New Year’s Eve.
In 1992, Black released his third album, “The Hard Way,” to positive reviews. It peaked at No. 2 on the country charts and crossed over into the pop top 10. The first single from the album, “We Tell Ourselves,” reached No. 1 that summer.
Black went back full-circle with his fourth album, “No Time to Kill,” in 1993, his fifth, “One Emotion,” and the seasonal “Looking for Christmas” over the next two years. “Nothin’ But the Taillights” appeared after a two-year hiatus, and in 1999 Black celebrated a decade of recording with “D’Lectrified.” Several “hits” collections followed into the new millennium.
In 2004, Black returned with “Spend My Time,” his first batch of new material in over six years, closely followed by “Drinkin’ Songs & Other Logic” in 2005. He also recently released a pair of compilation works, and is preparing for a new full release this year.
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