||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2009)|
Neal McCoy (in hoodie) with Military Police Security on his 2008 USO tour to the Middle East.
|Birth name||Hubert Neal McGaughey, Jr.|
|Also known as||Neal McGoy|
July 30, 1958 |
Jacksonville, Texas, U.S.
|Origin||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|Associated acts||Barry Beckett
Hubert Neal McGaughey, Jr. (born July 30, 1958) is an American country music singer of mixed Irish and Filipino descent. Known professionally as Neal McCoy, he has released ten studio albums on various labels, and has released 34 singles to country radio. Although he first charted on Billboard Hot Country Songs in 1988, he did not reach Top 40 for the first time until 1992's "Where Forever Begins", which peaked at number 40. McCoy broke through a year later with the back-to-back number 1 singles "No Doubt About It" and "Wink" from his platinum-certified album No Doubt About It. Although he has not topped the country charts since, his commercial success continued into the late 1990s with two more platinum albums and a gold album, as well as six more Top Ten hits. A seventh Top Ten hit, the number 10 "Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On", came in 2005 from his self-released That's Life.
Early life 
He was born on July 30, 1958, in Jacksonville, Texas, to a Filipina American mother and Irish-American father. Inspired by the variety of music that his parents listened to, which included country, rock, disco and R&B, McGaughey first sang in his church choir before founding an R&B band. He later switched his focus to country music, performing in various bars and clubs in Texas. McGaughey, after attending junior college near his hometown, found work selling shoes at a shopping mall. In the early 1980s, he met his wife, Melinda, at the store.
After winning a 1981 talent contest hosted by Janie Fricke, he secured a spot as an opening act for Charley Pride. It was also at this point that he assumed the stage name Neal McGoy, a phonetic spelling of his last name.
Musical career 
Still crediting himself as Neal McGoy, he signed to the independent 16th Avenue Records label in 1988. He released the singles "That's How Much I Love You" and "That's American", and although the former reached No. 85 on the country charts, he did not release an album for the label. He continued to tour with Pride until 1990.
1990-2000: Atlantic Records 
He then signed to Atlantic Records in 1990, changing his surname to McCoy per the label's request, as fans had already begun to refer to him as McCoy. His debut album, At This Moment, was released that year, with its title track being a cover of the Billy Vera song. The lead-off single "If I Built You a Fire" was a Top 20 country hit in Canada, although none of the three singles (which also included the title track and "This Time I Hurt Her More Than She Loves Me") made Top 40 in the United States. McCoy continued touring and developed a "reputation for exciting, freewheeling live shows."
A second album for Atlantic, Where Forever Begins, followed in 1992. This album produced his first American Top 40 country hit in its No. 40-peaking title track, followed by "There Ain't Nothin' I Don't Like About You" at No. 57 and finally "Now I Pray for Rain" at No. 26. The album was also his first entry on Top Country Albums, at No. 58.
Working with Barry Beckett for the first time, McCoy released No Doubt About It in 1994. The album proved to be a breakout for him, producing two straight Number One country hits in its title track and "Wink", both of which also made minor entries on the Billboard Hot 100. The latter also held the Number One position for four weeks, longer than any other Number One country hit that year. The album also earned a platinum certification from the RIAA and gold certification from the CRIA. Although "Wink" was also his final Number One, "The City Put the Country Back in Me" reached No. 5.
Mid-Late 1990s 
1995 saw the release of his fourth studio album for Atlantic. Titled You Gotta Love That, this album continued his success, also earning a platinum certification and producing four singles: "For a Change", "They're Playin' Our Song" and the title track (respectively the first, second and fourth singles) all peaked at No. 3, while "If I Was a Drinkin' Man" reached No. 16.
McCoy's self-titled fifth studio album began a decline in his chart momentum. Although it was certified gold, Neal McCoy accounted for only one Top Ten hit in the No. 4 "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" (a cover of The Casinos' 1967 doo-wop hit), with its successors — "Going, Going, Gone" and "That Woman of Mine" — both stopping at No. 35. Also in 1996, he sang guest vocals on the multi-artist charity single "Hope." After "That Woman of Mine", he reached No. 5 with "The Shake", the only new song on his first Greatest Hits package, which reprised nine of his greatest hits to that point and also earned platinum certification.
Be Good at It, his sixth studio release, followed in 1998. This was his first album since Where Forever Begins not to include a Top Ten hit. The title track, "If You Can't Be Good, Be Good at It", was the highest-peaking single release from it at No. 22, followed by "Party On", which became his first single since 1992 to miss Top 40 entirely. After it came the No. 29 "Love Happens Like That." McCoy made a second appearance on a multi-artist charity single that same year, as one of several collaborators on "One Heart at a Time."
In 1999, McCoy released his final album for Atlantic, The Life of the Party. It only accounted for two singles: the Phil Vassar co-write "I Was" at No. 37 and "The Girls of Summer" at No. 42. He, Tracy Byrd and T. Graham Brown, also sang guest vocals on "Now That's Awesome," a musical track set to a Bill Engvall comedy sketch. This single peaked at No. 59.
Around 2000 Neal was partners in a motorcycle dealership in longview texas, the store opened as "Neal Mcoys Toys" before later becoming "Yamaha Polaris Sportscenter.
2000-2004: Warner Bros. Records and SEA Records 
Due to the closure of Atlantic Records' Nashville division in mid-2000, McCoy's next album, 24-7-365, was issued via Warner Bros. Records. It included the singles Forever Works for Me, Every Man for Himself (penned by Mark Elliott) and Beatin' It In, at No. 38, No. 37 and No. 41 respectively. Two years later came the unreleased The Luckiest Man in the World, which accounted for its No. 46-peaking title track before McCoy exited his label. He signed with a short-lived independent label called SEA Records in 2004, but did not release anything for the label due to its closure.
In 2005, Neal McCoy founded a vanity label known as 903 Music along with his manager, Karen Kane. His first single for his own label was "Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On", which reached the Top 10 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 2005. The song served as the lead-off to his 2005 album That's Life. McCoy's next single release, "The Last of a Dying Breed", peaked at 36, and "Tail on the Tailgate" failed to chart at all.
Darryl Worley and the Drew Davis Band were eventually signed to 903 as well. Worley released his 2006 album Here and Now on 903 (which included the top 20 hit "I Just Came Back from a War"), while the Drew Davis Band did not release anything. In May 2007, McCoy announced that the label had filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors.
In 2008, Rhino Records issued a compilation album entitled The Very Best of Neal McCoy. This album reprised most of his biggest chart hits to that point, and it included the new recording "Rednecktified", which was released as a single but did not chart. Later that same year, he issued another single, "For the Troops", which also failed to chart.
In April 2011 McCoy signed with the Cleveland based record label Blaster Music. He released his twelfth album, XII, for the label on March 6, 2012. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert co-produced the album with Brent Rowan, and sang backing vocals on its lead-off single "A-OK".
- Huey, Steve. "Neal McCoy Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- Whitburn, Joel (August 2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 266. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
- McCoy's 903 Music To Shut Down
- "NEAL McCOY BRINGS HIS MULTI-PLATINUM CAREER TO BLASTER RECORDS." Webster&Associates LLC (2011): n. pag. Web. 27 Apr 2011. <http://www.websterpr.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=532:neal-mccoy-brings-his-multi-platinum-career-to-blaster-records&catid=62:neal-mccoy&Itemid=15>
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