America's Got Talent Winner Kevin Skinner Plans Debut Album
Skinner saddled up for the ride of his life when the NBC reality series held auditions at Harrah's in Metropolis, Illinois, just across the river from Kevin's old Kentucky home. He answered the call to audition and the rest, as they say, is music business history.
In 2009, Kevin Skinner went from unemployed farmer to overnight sensation. After he sang his first song on America's Got Talent (a cover of Garth Brooks' "If Tomorrow Never Comes"), Piers Morgan said, "That was one of the most emotional, powerful performances I've seen in a long time." Suddenly Kevin Skinner was everyone's favorite "Chicken Catcher" and he brought audiences to their feet.
Kevin went on to win the competition and $1-million.
America's latest reality-series success story couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy—or one who had invested more blood, sweat, and tears in his music. The talented singer/songwriter was born and raised in rural Graves County, Kentucky, where Mayfield is the county seat. He picked up the guitar at age 12 and has never put it down. Kevin so loved singing and playing acoustic and electric guitar that he refused to give up on his dream of making a living with his music. So while he worked on farms, mowed lawns and caught chickens as day jobs, he worked nights, too. He formed a band, Skinner and Friends, and sang and played at Hill's Bar-B-Que in Mayfield and Wrangler's Campground at Land between the Lakes. He drove the two hours to Nashville to sing at open mic nights, hoping to get more jobs.
All the while, Kevin had the support, and often the participation, of his family.
From the initial America's Got Talent audition at Harrah's and later in Las Vegas and Hollywood, he made a lasting impression. Judges and audiences saw the plain man in the hat and jeans, heard the down-home dialect of western Kentucky, and might have been prepared to dismiss Kevin. But that was before he sang and played. Unpretentious and open, Kevin displayed a remarkable ability to move an audience with his songs. In the end, that quality garnered him millions of votes from viewers and the first prize. Fans took him to their hearts and their Facebook pages, even raising money to buy him an early 2009 Christmas gift: a $5,500 guitar.
Fans wanted more of Kevin even after the show was over. He had no other choice but to share his musical gift with the fans that stuck by his side and believed in him from his first performance to present. Through it all, Kevin Skinner remains humble, still unaffected, still serious about his music, still hoping to share his talent with audiences all over the world. He's starting a new chapter in his life and definitely the most exciting chapter of his career with the much-anticipated worldwide download release of his debut album "Long Ride." It's a sweet journey.
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