Lee greenwood biography
Lee Greenwood could easily talk about the accomplishments in his life, but
this high energy entertainer prefers to continue writing and recording with the
same passion and integrity that has always fueled his stellar career.
“I want my family to see what I do and not what I did,” he says of sharing
his passion for music with his wife Kim and their two sons, Dalton and Parker.
“I like the artistry of it. I could have been a carpenter or a farmer, but I
love the spirit of the music. The creative ideas still flow and I am writing
much more than I have in previous years. I always love to create something
To that end, Greenwood has a new seven-song EP titled "I Want to be in Your
World", scheduled for a July 25th release. He wrote three of the seven songs
& exposes his musical talent on the saxophone on one of the original tracks,
“Here Comes Love, There Goes My Heart”. He also covers the Michael
McDonald/Kenny Loggins ballad “You Can Let Go Now.” McDonald dropped by the
studio to play piano on the song.
Greenwood claims a string of hits including “Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her
Hands,” “It Turns Me Inside Out,” “Somebody’s Gonna Love You,” “Holdin’ A Good
Hand,” “I Don’t Mind the Thorns (If You’re the Rose)”, “She’s Lyin,” and “Dixie
Road.” He has won numerous industry accolades including, Male Vocalist of the
year for the Academy of Country Music in 1983, two Male Vocalist of the Year
awards from the Country Music Association, 1983 & 1984 and a Grammy for Top
Male Vocal Performance in 1985 for “I.O.U.”. Also in 1985, he took home CMA Song
of the Year honor as the writer of “God Bless the USA.”
The song, “God Bless the USA” has been voted the most recognizable patriotic
song in America. The singer knows first-hand what it’s like to have loved ones
fighting for the freedom of all Americans as his father served in the Navy &
the Merchant Marine in World War II.
“God Bless the USA” went far beyond what Greenwood expected when he wrote it
in the back of his tour bus in 1983. The song has been in the top five on the
country singles charts three times (1991, 2001 and 2003), giving it the
distinction of being the only song in any genre of music to achieve that feat.
It was also #1 on the pop charts after 9/11/01. Greenwood says; “USA is the song
I always felt the need to write”. “I wanted to have something that would unite
Americans from coast to coast. I wanted to instill pride back in the United
States. The song represents my family, my community and those men & women
who have paid the price for the freedoms we all love & enjoy.”
In 2011, Beyonce offered her version of “God Bless the USA” as a download,
with the proceeds going to the 9/11 firefighters fund in NYC. It is popular with
contestants on the Fox Network’s “American Idol” & was the winning song in
the 2011 “Dancing with the Stars” competition on ABC. It is performed at all
military and patriotic events throughout the year all across America.
Greenwood performs for many charitable events and gives his time & name
to numerous organizations and fundraisers. He is the National spokesperson for
“Products for Good”, “Operation Never Forgotten” and, on the advisory board of
the “Challenger Commission”. The singer is also a member of the National
Endowment for the Arts Council, a Presidential appointment.
Music has always been a part of Greenwood’s life, even while growing up on a
farm near Sacramento, California. He started playing the piano when he was seven
and the saxophone at 12. In junior high, he started his first group, called the
Moonbeams. By the time, he finished High School he played most all the
instruments in the orchestra and was the Drum Major for the marching band.
Greenwood graduated from high school in June 1960. He passed on a track &
music scholarship to the College of the Pacific along with a professional
baseball career. He also elected to skip his high school graduation ceremony
because he had a job at the Golden Hotel & Casino in Reno, Nevada with his
own band, the “Apollos”. That turned out to be a great choice.
The California native was discovered in 1979 by Larry McFaden, who saw him
performing in a show at the Nugget Casino in Sparks, Nevada. Larry was the bass
player and bandleader for Mel Tillis. He brought the singer to Nashville and got
him signed to MCA Records. He began working with producer Jerry Crutchfield,
with whom he recorded his debut album “It Turns Me Inside Out.” The title track
became his first hit, followed by “She’s Lyin”, Ain’t No Trick” and “Going,
Going, Gone.” It would be the first of many albums on three different labels in
“Choosing songs to record is always exciting,” says Greenwood. “I’m a
songwriter as well and I love lyrics that have depth and emotion. I’m thankful
for the many writers & artists who have contributed to my career”.
Lee and his wife, Kimberly, a former Miss Tennessee, fell in love on his 1989
USO/DOD tour. They were married in Nashville in 1992 and have two sons, Dalton
and Parker, 16 and 13.
Greenwood will take his career a step beyond songwriting this fall when he
releases his new book, "Does God Still Bless the USA". It will feature a
calendar called “Prayers of a Patriot” and will include two songs, written by
Greenwood, for download in the back of the book.