Deana Carter

Deana Carter managed to defy conventional expectations and unexpectedly shot to the top of the country charts upon the release of her 1996 debut, Did I Shave My Legs for This?. Carter’s success was equally unexpected considering that she didn’t quite fit into the mold of a standard female contemporary country singer. Melding the popular appeal of country music with folksy singer/songwriters like Mary Chapin Carpenter and a more retro-rock edge like Sheryl Crow, Carter racked up both positive reviews and healthy sales with Did I Shave My Legs for This?, becoming a huge success.

As the daughter of famed studio guitarist and producer Fred Carter, Jr., Deana Carter grew up in a musical environment, and was exposed to a wide variety of music. Fred played guitar for a wide variety of musicians, including Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, and Simon & Garfunkel. The music of those artists would eventually seep into Deana’s own style, which she hadn’t yet formed, when she initially tried to land a record contract at the age of 17. Despite her efforts and her father’s assistance, Carter wasn’t able to secure a deal, so she abandoned music to study rehabilitation therapy at the University of Tennessee. While she was a student, she continued to sing and perform for fun, dabbling in musical theater, yet she didn’t devote much energy to a musical career.

After graduation, Carter worked in a few hospitals before deciding to pursue a musical career at the age of 23. Learning the guitar for the first time, Deana also began to write songs that were more story focused and folk/rock inspired than her prior piano ballads. For several years, she worked odd jobs as she continued to develop her songwriting skills and sing at Nashville writer’s nights. She signed a writing deal with Polygram and her in-town performances led her to a record deal with Capitol Records. Eventually, one of her demo tapes made its way to Willie Nelson, who remembered her from her childhood and was impressed with Carter’s songs. Nelson asked her to perform at Farm Aid VII in 1994, with John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, and Neil Young; she was the only female artist on the entire bill and performed acoustically.

Boasting six songs co-written by Carter, her debut album, Did I Shave My Legs For This?, was released to strong reviews in late summer of 1996. By the end of the year, the record had climbed to the upper reaches of the country charts and had made inroads on the pop charts, going gold in the process. Everything’s Gonna Be Alright followed in late 1998. In 2001, Carter realized her dream of performing with her father on her holiday album, Father Christmas, which featured her dad on guitar. I’m Just a Girl, a recording that leans strongly toward adult pop, was released on Arista Nashville in 2003. Capitol released a Greatest Hits that year also and The Story of My Life followed in 2005 on Vanguard Records. A second Vanguard release, The Chain, appeared in 2007.

Carter now lives in Los Angeles and spends her time writing and producing for both the Pop/Rock and Country markets and travels to Nashville frequently to continue writing for various projects. She maintains a steady balance between songwriting, producing and touring. Carter’s superstar success continues as evident by her current CMA nominated Song of the Year chart topping song, You and Tequila, co-written with Matraca Berg. Carter recently co-wrote and produced the new album for recording artist, Audra Mae. Deana is also in the studio, working on and producing her own highly anticipated record, scheduled for release in 2012.

As always, Deana continues to defy conventional expectations as a singer, songwriter, and producer, and feels she is very blessed to continue to contribute to making great music.