Throwback Jam: He Didn’t Have to Be

Nineteen years ago, in August of 1999, Brad Paisley released just his second song off his freshman album Who Needs Pictures. Although it took until December of that year, “He Didn’t Have To Be” became Paisley’s first #1 song. It was the first of nineteen #1s and he’s not done yet.

Paisley penned the song with one of his best friends and fellow songwriter, Kelley Lovelace. Based on Lovelace’s relationship with his stepson, McCain, Paisley truly believes that without this song, he would not have a record deal. That song changed the entire trajectory of his career.

Written from such a personal and intimate perspective, it’s no surprise it launched Brad’s career, earning him the ACM Top New Male Vocalist of the Year in 1999, and earning the adoration of fans around the world.