Black plays part in arts center’s new direction

Country star Clint Black will play to a full house Sunday at the Jasper Arts Center.

From local sources

JASPER — Country music legend Clint Black will perform at the Jasper Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

This performance is sold out and is on the New Directions series, which is designed to appeal to all audiences but most particularly to 25- to 45-year-old patrons.

Born in New Jersey as the youngest of four children, Black was only a year old when his family moved back to Texas. Black was raised in Katy and was demonstrating his musical talent by his early teens. He and his older brothers entertained at backyard barbecues with their band and Black taught himself to play the harmonica as well as bass guitar and drums.

After he dropped out of high school at age 17, Black supported his music habit with a variety of jobs including construction worker and fishing guide. In 1987, he met Hayden Nicholas and they created a musical partnership that has lasted for decades. Black has written more than 100 songs, many of which are collaborations with Nicholas.

“To me, a song is more than just something to sing. It’s something to learn from. It’s somebody else’s true feeling,” Black said. “I’m always trying to get at the meaning.”

His biggest musical influences are Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.

Soon after meeting Nicholas, Black signed with RCA records and his first album, “Killin’ Time,” was released. It was a critical and commercial success, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and was certified platinum in 1990. Five singles from this album reached No. 1, the first time any country music artist had achieved this feat. Black joined a streak of young, successful country artists including Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Mark Chestnutt who promoted traditional country sound with pop appeal.

Black’s country music awards include Top Male Vocalist and Album of the Year. He also has joined a select group of country music artists who have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has appeared on “The Apprentice” and in movie and TV roles. He still works with his “Apprentice” partner, Scott Hamilton, to raise money for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.

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