Love and Theft (duo)

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Love and Theft
Love and Theft.jpg
Love and Theft performing in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Stephen Barker Liles (left) and Eric Gunderson
Background information
Origin Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Country
Years active 2006-present
Labels Carolwood/Lyric Street
RCA Nashville
Hate & Purchase
Associated acts Martina McBride
Robert Ellis Orrall
Website Official website
Members Eric Gunderson
Stephen Barker Liles
Past members Brian Bandas

Love and Theft is an American country music duo composed of Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson, both of whom sing lead vocals and play guitar. They originally formed as a trio in 2006 in Nashville, Tennessee, along with Brian Bandas (who also sang lead and played guitar). Signed to Lyric Street Records subsidiary Carolwood Records in 2009, Love and Theft made their chart debut in early 2009 with the single "Runaway," which reached the Top 10 on Billboard Hot Country Songs. The band's debut album, World Wide Open, was released on August 25, 2009.

In 2011, Love and Theft moved to RCA Records Nashville and released the single "Angel Eyes", which became their first number 1 single. It and the Top 40 singles "Runnin' Out of Air" and "If You Ever Get Lonely" all appear on their second, self-titled album.

Musical career[edit]

Love and Theft was formed in 2006 by Brian Bandas, Stephen Barker Liles, and Eric Gunderson, all three of whom alternated on lead vocals. After performing before ASCAP executives, they were recommended to an A&R executive for Lyric Street Records, who signed them to Lyric Street's sister label Carolwood Records in 2009.[1] Just prior, they were also signed as an opening act for Taylor Swift's 2008 tour. Liles is the subject of "Hey Stephen" which appears on Swift's 2008 album Fearless.[2] He also co-wrote the track "Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong" on Martina McBride's 2009 album Shine. "Kissin' in Cars," which was featured on the soundtrack for the film Country Strong, was also co-written by Liles.

Love and Theft made their first Grand Ole Opry performance on March 28, 2009,[3] shortly before the release of the debut single "Runaway." This song was written by Stephen Barker Liles, Canaan Smith, and Rob Blackledge of Blackjack Billy, and is included on the band's debut album, World Wide Open. In addition, Love and Theft recorded a video for "Don't Wake Me," another cut from the album.[4] "Runaway" peaked at number 10 on the country chart in November 2009, shortly before Carolwood was consolidated with Lyric Street.[5] "Dancing in Circles" was released as the album's second single in December 2009, and reached a peak of number 25 in March 2010. On April 14, Disney Music Group announced the closure of Lyric Street Records, leaving Love and Theft without a record deal.[6]

Love and Theft became a duo in 2011 when founding member Brian Bandas left the band.[7] The remaining two members then signed with RCA Nashville in 2011.[8] "Angel Eyes" was digitally released on November 8, 2011 and released to radio six days later. In August 2012, "Angel Eyes" became Love and Theft's first Number One single on the Hot Country Songs chart. It was the lead single from their self-titled album, which was released via RCA on July 24, 2012.[9] The album's second single, "Runnin' Out of Air," was released to country radio on November 5, 2012. The album's third single, "If You Ever Get Lonely," was released to country radio on June 3, 2013.

The duo released "Night That You'll Never Forget" in early 2014 as the lead single to an upcoming third album in October 2014 Love And Theft parted ways with Sony Music Nashville. They self-released "Whiskey on My Breath" via Hate & Purchase Music later in the year.[10]

Personal lives[edit]

Gunderson married Emily Hagar in 2010.[11] The couple had their first baby on March 10, 2013,[12] a boy named Camden William. Stephen Barker Liles got engaged to Jenna Michelle Kennedy on May 28, 2013. On Dec 2, 2013 they welcomed son Jett Barker Liles. Liles and Kennedy married Aug 24, 2014.[13][14][15][16]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart
US Country
World Wide Open 10 36
Love and Theft
  • Release date: July 24, 2012
  • Label: RCA Nashville
  • Formats: CD, music download
4 21
Whiskey on My Breath[19]
  • Release date: February 10, 2015
  • Label: Hate & Purchase Music
  • Formats: CD, music download
To be released

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details
Live in Savannah
  • Release date: September 30, 2008
  • Label: Lyric Street Records
  • Formats: CD, music download


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US Country
US Country Airplay
2009 "Runaway" 10 65 World Wide Open
"Dancing in Circles" 25
2011 "Angel Eyes" 1 32 68 Love and Theft
2012 "Runnin' Out of Air" 38 35
2013 "If You Ever Get Lonely" 43 34
2014 "Night That You'll Never Forget" 38 34 N/A
"Whiskey on My Breath" Whiskey on My Breath
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2009 "Don't Wake Me"[25] Devin Pense
"Runaway"[26] Kristin Barlowe
"Dancing in Circles"[27]
2012 "Angel Eyes"[28] Chris Hicky
"Runnin' Out of Air" Mason Dixon
2013 "If You Ever Get Lonely"[29]
2014 "Night That You'll Never Forget"[30]

Awards and Nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
2012 Country Music Association Awards New Artist of the Year N/A Nominated
Vocal Duo of the Year N/A Nominated
2013 Academy of Country Music Awards Top New Vocal Duo/Group N/A Nominated
Top Vocal Duo N/A Nominated
CMT Music Awards Duo Video of the Year "Runnin' Out of Air" Nominated


  1. ^ "Artists A to Z: Love and Theft". Great American Country. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  2. ^ Guy Behind Taylor Swift Love Song Revealed
  3. ^ "Love And Theft sets Opry debut". Country Standard Time. 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  4. ^ Paxman, Bob (2009-06-15). "Wake-Up Call: New trio Love and Theft races out of the box with its fast-paced debut video, "Don't Wake Me"". Country Weekly 16 (18): 49. 
  5. ^ David M. Ross (2009-11-03). "Lyric Street Shutters Carolwood Imprint". Music Row. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  6. ^ "Covington, Fowler, Dickerson Follow Rascal Flatts to Disney Music Group". CMT. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Alanna Conaway (2010-12-01). "Love and Theft's Brian Bandas to Leave Group in New Year". AOL's The Boot. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  8. ^ Love & Theft - Sony Nashville
  9. ^ Erickson, Mark (26 March 2012). "Duo Love and Theft to Release "Love and Theft" on June 5, 2012". Roughstock. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Freeman, Jon (29 December 2014). "Reviews". Country Weekly 21 (52): 69. ISSN 1074-3235. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^,,20704337,00.html#disqus_thread
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Love and Theft Album & Song Chart History - Country Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Love and Theft Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  19. ^ Finan, Eileen (November 21, 2014). "Hear Love and Theft's New Single 'Whiskey on My Breath'". People. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Love and Theft Album & Song Chart History - Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Love and Theft Album & Song Chart History - Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Love and Theft Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Love and Theft Album & Song Chart History - Billboard Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  24. ^ "American single certifications – Love and Theft – Angel Eyes". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  25. ^ "CMT : Videos : Love and Theft : Don't Wake Me". Country Music Television. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  26. ^ "CMT : Videos : Love and Theft : Runaway". Country Music Television. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  27. ^ "CMT : Videos : Love and Theft : Dancing in Circles". Country Music Television. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  28. ^ "CMT : Videos : Love and Theft : Angel Eyes". Country Music Television. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  29. ^ "CMT : Videos : Love and Theft : If You Ever Get Lonely". Country Music Television. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  30. ^ "CMT : Videos : Love and Theft : Night That You'll Never Forget". Country Music Television. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 

External links[edit]