|Birth name||James Aaron Watson|
|Born||August 20, 1977
Amarillo, Texas, U.S.
|Origin||Abilene, Texas, U.S.|
|Labels||BIG Label Records|
Watson's earliest musical influences were the classic country records by George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson his parents listened to and the gospel hymns he sang with his family in church.
He released his first album, Aaron Watson - Singers and Songwriters in 1999 and followed that up with Texas Cafe in 2000. It wasn't until this third album, Shut Up And Dance, in 2002, that Watson gained radio airplay and attention nationwide. Following that record's success, he released The Honky Tonk Kid, produced by Ray Benson and featuring Willie Nelson on guest vocals.
In February 2015, Watson made history when he released The Underdog, making him the first independent male artist to debut at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart with a self-released and independently distributed and promoted album. The record sold more than 26,000 units in the first week.
By the end of 2014, the lead single from The Underdog, "That Look," which Watson wrote for his wife Kimberly, debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard Country Digital Songs Chart and was one of the most successful-selling independent singles.
Early life and musical beginnings
Watson was born in Amarillo, Texas and graduated from Randall High School there. He then attended Abilene Christian University, where he began learning guitar, after playing junior college baseball in New Mexico.
He gigged around Texas before releasing his debut album, A Texas Cafe; the follow-up, Shuttupanddance, was a regional sales success. His 2004 album, The Honky Tonk Kid, was produced by Ray Benson and features an appearance by Willie Nelson. Watson's band is called the Orphans of the Brazos; they appear on his 2005 album, Live at the Texas Hall of Fame. In 2006, his San Angelo release hit No. 60 on the U.S. Billboard country charts and No. 50 on its Heatseekers chart.
2007 - 2009
On March 20, 2007, Watson released his seventh studio album, a collection of gospel songs entitled Barbed Wire Halo which includes readings by Billy Joe Shaver. On April 1, 2008, Watson's 8th album, Angels & Outlaws, reached No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Heatseekers chart, No. 28 on its Country Albums chart, and landed in the Billboard Top 200. The album's debut single, "Hearts Are Breaking Across Texas", reached the No. 1 spot on the Texas Music Chart. "Love Makin' Song" was released later that year, and "Rollercoaster Ride" followed in 2009.
On September 15, 2009, Watson released Aaron Watson LIVE: Deep in the Heart of Texas, a dual disc CD/DVD set recorded live at the Hog Creek Ice House in Waco, Texas on June 27, 2009.
On July 7, 2009, Watson performed at the 81st Texas FFA Convention in Dallas, Texas.
2010 - 2011
Watson's 10th studio album, The Road & The Rodeo, was released in October 2010. This was his first record released under the independent record label, Big Label Records. The album peaked at No. 25 on the U.S. Billboard Country Albums chart and reached No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Heatseeksers chart.
2012 - 2013
October 9, 2012, Aaron Watson released Real Good Time. It achieved national attention, and was the best performing album for Watson to date, peaking at No. 9 on the U.S. Billboard Country Albums. It was also his first to break into the top twenty for independent albums. It had sold 32,000 copies as of February 2015.
2014 - 2015
In 2014, Aaron Watson released the lead single from his album The Underdog, "That Look," which he wrote for his wife Kimberly. The single debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard Country Digital Songs chart and went on to become one of the most successful-selling independent singles by the end of the year.
In February 2015, Watson made history when he released The Underdog, as the first solo male artist to debut at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart with a self-released and independently distributed and promoted album. The record sold more than 26,000 units in the first week.
Following the success of the record, Watson performed 148 shows across the United States in 2015 alone. One of these was his Grand Ole Opry debut, which took place on March 31, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Watson and his wife Kimberly married in 2003. Together, they have two sons and two daughters: Jacob, born in 2006, Jack, born in 2007, Jolee Kate, born in 2009, and a daughter Julia Grace, who died in infancy in 2011.
Watson is a not only a family man, but a man of deep faith, which is prominently displayed by the crosses decorating the top of his guitar.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|A Texas Café||
|The Honky Tonk Kid||
|Live at the Texas Hall of Fame||
|Barbed Wire Halo||
|Angels & Outlaws||
|Deep in the Heart of Texas:
Aaron Watson Live
|The Road & The Rodeo||
|Real Good Time||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|US Country Airplay
|2004||"If You're Not in Love"||—||—||The Honky Tonk Kid|
|2006||"Heyday Tonight"||—||—||San Angelo|
|2008||"Hearts Are Breaking Across Texas"||—||—||Angels & Outlaws|
|"Love Makin' Song"||—||—|
|"The Road"||—||—||The Road & The Rodeo|
|2011||"Best for Last"||—||—|
|"Fast Cars Slow Kisses"||—||—|
|2012||"Leather & Lace" (with Elizabeth Cook)||—||—||Hearts Across Texas|
|"Raise Your Bottle"||—||—||Real Good Time|
|"July in Cheyenne"||—||—|
|2014||"That Look"||41||47||The Underdog|
|2016||"Bluebonnets (Julia's Song)"||—||60|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|2003||"I Don't Want You to Go"|
|2012||"Raise Your Bottle"||Zack Morris/Benjamin Ranzinger|
|2013||"Lips"||Paul De La Cerda|
|2014||"July in Cheyenne"||Timothy Allen/Benjamin Ranzinger|
- Watson, James Aaron. "Songwriter/Composer: WATSON JAMES AARON". Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- "Aaron Watson Biography".
- Thompson, Gayle. "Aaron Watson Makes History". The Boot.
- Aaron Watson at Allmusic
- Billboard, Allmusic.com
- "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on February 11, 2015.
- "Aaron Watson Album & Song Chart History - Country Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Aaron Watson Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Aaron Watson Album & Song Chart History - Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Aaron Watson Album & Song Chart History - Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Aaron Watson Album & Song Chart History - Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Aaron Watson Album & Song Chart History - Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "CMT : Videos : Aaron Watson : Lips". Country Music Television. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
- "CMT : Videos : Aaron Watson : July in Cheyenne". Country Music Television. Retrieved February 5, 2014.