Growing up on a Sacramento farm, Lee Greenwood was musical at a very early age, teaching himself how to play saxophone when he was only nine years old. Lee is no overnight success. He is one of the most acclaimed artists internationally and often identified as virtually the ultimate name that comes to mind when patriotism is mentioned in the entertainment industry.
Lee gained success the old fashioned way. He earned it, one rung up the ladder at a time. After years of struggling to gain recognition in the music industry, one song God Bless The U.S.A. in 1983 singularly transported Lee far beyond the ranks of stardom to a niche in America's pop culture that is seemingly reserved for he and he alone.
If any doubt existed of Lee's "forever imprint" on America, it was dispelled in 2003, the year anniversary of its release when God Bless The U.S.A. was voted online by Americans as the "most recognizable patriotic song" in the nation.
In 1978 Lee moved to Nashville to write and record a demo session with the help of the Mel Tillis Band. The results of this long-shot opportunity led to his contract with MCA and his producer Jerry Crutchfield, then head of MCA Publishing. The first session together yielded hit songs like It Turns Me Inside Out, Ring On Her Finger, Time On Her Hand, and Ain't No Trick, all of which introduced Lee to country music.
Lee found immediate acceptance with country music audiences who appreciated his powerful vocals and energetic show. His feel for country music, coupled with his electrifying performances quickly established Lee as a major artist. Only two years after the release of his debut album, he won the coveted Country Music Association's Male Vocalist of the Year award.
One year later, he won the same award as well as a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
In 1982, Lee's second single Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands climbed into the Top Ten, beginning a streak of 19 Top Ten singles that ran virtually uninterrupted for the next six years. During that time, he racked up no less than seven number one hits such as Somebody's Gonna Love You, Going, Going, Gone, Dixie Road, I Don't Mind the Thorns (If You're the Rose), and Mornin' Ride.
Continuing his winning streak, Lee won the 1984 ACM Male Vocalist of the Year award. His first three albums achieved gold status, and his Greatest Hits went platinum. In 1985, CMA awarded him Song of the Year honors for penning both the words and music to God Bless The U.S.A.
In 1996, Lee opened the Lee Greenwood Theater in a picturesque Tennessee mountain setting near Gatlinburg. The theater provided Lee with the opportunity to continue performing without the rigors of being on the road constantly.
Since the tragedies of September 11th, Lee has seen his signature hit God Bless The U.S.A. take on yet another incarnation. Since the attack on America, airplay has increased ten fold, skyrocketing the hit back into the Top 20 of the Billboard country airplay chart, and sending Lee's 1992 album American Patriot to the top of the sales charts. The album was certified gold in October 2001 and platinum in December 2001.