Mat Kearney

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Mat Kearney
Background information
Born (1978-12-01) December 1, 1978 (age 45)
Eugene, Oregon, U.S.
OriginNashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active2003–present
Spouse(s)Annie Sims Kearney m. 2010

Mathew William Kearney[1] (/ˈkɑːrni/; born December 1, 1978) is an American musician born in Eugene, Oregon, and based in Nashville, Tennessee. So far, he has a total of five top 20 hits on the Adult Top 40 Chart.

Just Kids was released on February 24, 2015. The album's first single, "Heartbeat", was released on November 4, 2014.[2] Crazytalk was released on May 4, 2018.


Early life[edit]

Kearney was born on December 1, 1978, and raised in Eugene, Oregon, with his two brothers.[3] At South Eugene High School, Kearney was a soccer player.[4]

He attended California State University, Chico in Chico, California, on an athletic scholarship and majored in literature, playing soccer until his junior year. Kearney first became interested in music after traveling to Nashville with music producer Robert Marvin.[4] Using a roommate's guitar, he tried covering songs by other artists, but realized he was not very good at it, and began writing his own. Though things were going well for Kearney at school, the partying atmosphere at Chico caught up to him. In an interview, Kearney said, "I guess I lived it up and did what everyone said you should do in college. I discovered the depth of depravity, the bleakness of that lifestyle. It just wasn't working. I finally started understanding there must be more to life."[5]

Kearney began focusing on music fusing his simple guitar playing with spoken word or rap. He started to play at coffee shops and soon began to make small amounts of money. At this time, Kearney had met friend and future producer, Robert Marvin. The two began to make music together, but Marvin had plans to move to Nashville, Tennessee. Marvin asked Kearney to help with the move and he accepted. Kearney says, "I helped him pack up his trailer and we put a mattress on the back of his truck. We basically drove cross-country and slept in the back. When we pulled into Nashville we slept in a school parking lot for three days until we finally rented this apartment where the roof was caving in and mice were crawling all over." Kearney decided to stay in Nashville to record a few demos with Marvin and after a few months, Kearney had no plans on returning. "By the end of the summer, we had three or four songs and I realized this is what I wanted to do. It just clicked. So I called home to Oregon and said, 'I'm not coming back' and I never left Nashville."[5]

Recording career[edit]

On April 18, 2006, Kearney's second album and major-label debut, titled Nothing Left to Lose, was released. It contains several reworked songs from Kearney's first album Bullet, as well as some new material, and has sold over 450,000 copies to date.[citation needed] The title track "Nothing Left to Lose" was the first single from the album, peaking at No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of February 10, 2007. The single has sold over 500,000 copies and won numerous BMI awards.[specify] The track "All I Need" was featured on Grey's Anatomy and NCIS. It peaked at No. 94 on the Billboard Pop 100. To promote Nothing Left to Lose, Kearney toured with John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Train, Mutemath, Meiko, and Cary Brothers throughout 2005, '06, and '07; he also headlined VH1's first ever "You Oughta Know Tour" in early 2007.

Kearney's following album, City of Black & White, was released through Columbia Records on May 19, 2009. He collaborated with Nashville artists such as Trent Dabbs, Matthew Perryman Jones, Kate York, Paul Moak, Daniel James, Will Sayles, and Josiah Bell. Robert Marvin (tobyMac, Britt Nicole), the producer of Kearney's previous albums and EPs, joined him yet again. The lead single was "Closer To Love", and it received much airplay, on both secular and Christian outlets. His second single is "All I Have", the last song he wrote before releasing the album.

In May 2009, Kearney toured with Keane and The Helio Sequence for several weeks to promote City of Black & White.[6] It debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 13. He toured with Owl City and Unwed Sailor on Owl City's "All Things Bright and Beautiful Tour".

Young Love was released August 2, 2011. The album's first single, "Hey Mama", was released on May 10, 2011. "Hey Mama" charted in the Top 40 of Adult Pop Songs at No. 22. The second single "Down" charted as high as No. 23 on the Christian Songs chart.[7] Just Kids, was released on February 24, 2015.[8][non-primary source needed] The album's first single, "Heartbeat", was released on November 4, 2014. He toured with both Judah and the Lion and Parachute during his "Just Kids" tour in 2015.[2]

From August 17, 2016, through November 12, 2016, Kearney toured with Needtobreathe for their second annual Tour de Compadres, where he performed songs from his albums Nothing Left to Lose, Young Love, and Just Kids.[9]

On December 13, 2016, Kearney signed with independent music company Big Loud Mountain Management.[10] On February 3, 2017, Kearney released a song with Filous, titled "Goodbye".[11] Kearney released a self-titled EP on December 22, 2017, previewing new tracks from his forthcoming album, Crazy Talk.[12]

Mat Kearney released his sixth album, Crazytalk, May 4, 2018, to average reviews.[13] Kearney did a two-month long Crazytalk tour starting the third week of February 2018. The album's single, "Better Than I Used to be", released on November 10, 2017, and reached No. 27 on the Viral 50 chart.[14]

To celebrate the ten year anniversary of his second album, The City of Black and White, Kearney released The City of Black and White Revisited EP in June 2019. He promoted the project with an acoustic concert tour beginning that Fall.[15]


  • Mat Kearney – vocals, guitar, piano
  • Chad Kinner – drums, percussion (2011–present)
  • Fred Williams – piano, keys
  • Adam Keafer – bass (2010–2015)
  • Nathan Spicer – guitar (2010–present)
  • Tyler Burkum – guitar, vocals (2009–present)
  • Phil Moore – bass (2015–present)
  • M.D. Miller – bass (2005–2009)
  • Jeremy Lutito – drums (2009–2012)
  • Aaron Farmer – keys (2016)

Musical style[edit]

Kearney's music incorporates hip hop and folk-pop.[16] A notable exception to this was on his third album The City of Black and White where the hip-hop element was downplayed with Kearney explaining that he was trying to make a "more mature, more adult contemporary" album with his next album though he would return to his normal mix of genres.[16] He recalls that upon the release of his major label debut, "it got totally trashed by Rolling Stone because I was blending hip-hop stuff into my music."[17] Inspired by his hero, Paul Simon, Kearney tries to make each of his albums have a distinct sound stating, "usually if I did one thing on one record, I tend to somewhat be the other extreme on the next one."[18] The album Crazytalk notably features the inclusion of EDM into his music.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Kearney currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife Annie, whom he married in 2010.

Kearney has stated that his legal name is Mathew due to a nurse's error on his birth certificate. He discovered the error while in the 8th grade when he noticed how his mom corrected the error with ink, never legally correcting it. Since then, he embraced the one "T" in his legal name.[citation needed]

On January 4, 2017, Kearney and his wife had their first child, a girl named Olive Sims Kearney.[20] Their second daughter was born on March 25, 2020, and named Violet River Kearney.[21] The couple welcomed their third daughter, Ruby Josephine Kearney, on March 28, 2022.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales

US Rock
Nothing Left to Lose
  • Release date: April 18, 2006
  • Label: Aware/Columbia
  • Formats: CD, digital download
109 4
City of Black & White
  • Release date: May 19, 2009
  • Label: Aware/Columbia
  • Formats: CD, digital download
13 1 3
Young Love
  • Release date: August 2, 2011
  • Label: Aware/Universal Republic
  • Formats: CD, digital download
4 1 1 20
Just Kids
  • Release date: February 24, 2015
  • Label: Republic
  • Formats: CD, digital download
20 2
  • Release date: May 4, 2018[27]
  • Label: Tomorrow Music
  • Formats: CD, digital download
January Flower
  • Release date: May 21, 2021[28]
  • Label: Tomorrow Music
  • Formats: CD, vinyl, digital download, streaming
[A] 4
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums[edit]

Title Details
Until We Meet Again... (Live Unplugged)

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
US Christ.

US Rock
Revive Us
  • Released: 2002
  • Label: Independent
West In November
  • Released: 2003
  • Label: Independent
The Chicago EP
Rhapsody Originals
Acoustic Session (iTunes Exclusive)
  • Release date: April 17, 2007
  • Label: Aware
  • Format: Digital download
Live Session (iTunes Exclusive)
  • Release date: December 8, 2009
  • Label: Aware
  • Format: Digital download
Black Swan Shadow
  • Release date: 2010
  • Label: Aware
  • Format: Vinyl
iTunes Sessions
  • Release date: July 31, 2012
  • Label: Aware/Columbia
  • Format: Digital download
103 2 35
Mat Kearney
  • Release date: December 8, 2017
  • Label: Tomorrow Music
City of Black & White Revisited
  • Release date: June 28, 2019
  • Label: Tomorrow Music
  • Format: Vinyl / Digital download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live concerts[edit]

  • Mat Kearney: Live at The Fillmore, San Francisco (2010)


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US Adult Pop
US Christ.

2006 "Nothing Left to Lose" 41 7 21 36 Nothing Left to Lose
"Undeniable" [B] 16 30
"All I Need" [C]
2007 "Breathe In, Breathe Out" 18 66 Nothing Left to Lose (2007 Reissue)
2009 "Closer to Love" 91 12 7
  • RIAA: Gold
City of Black & White
"All I Have"
2010 "Head or Your Heart" non-album single
"Edge of the World (A Children's Song)"
2011 "Hey Mama" [D] 18 Young Love
"Down" 21
"Ships in the Night" 87 22 10
  • RIAA: Gold
2014 "Heartbeat" 31 Just Kids
2015 "Billion" 39
"One Heart" 16 34
"Air I Breathe" 33 8
2017 "Better Than I Used To Be"[37]
(with AFSheen)
2018 "Kings & Queens" 21
"Face to Face" 23
2020 "Grand Canyon"[38] January Flower
"Can't Look Back"
2021 "Powerless"
"Pontiac" 40
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other appearances[edit]

List of compilation and guest appearances
Year Artist Album Title Additional info
2001 DJ Maj Full Plates: Mixtape .002 "Gung Ho" Also featuring Knowdaverbs
2002 Stacie Orrico Say It Again "Security" Say It Again was set to be released in 2002. Promo copies were sent out, but upon co-signing with Virgin Records, the album was delayed and reworked. When the album was eventually released in 2003 as Stacie Orrico, Kearney was no longer featured on the song.
2003 ZOEgirl Different Kind of Free "Different Kind of Free"
2011 Various Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us "Walking Over the Water" Harmony vocals by Jennifer Knapp
2013 Brad Paisley Wheelhouse "Pressing on a Bruise"
2014 Ingrid Michaelson Lights Out "One Night Town"
2015 Various The Magic Strings oif Frankie Presto: A Musical Companion "I Want To Love You"
2017 Filous For Love "Vienna by the Sea"
2020 ROZES Crazy "Walls"
2021 Echosmith Tell Her You Love Her - single "Tell Her You Love Her" (featuring Mat Kearney) New version of Echosmith's song from their 2013 debut album Talking Dreams


GMA Dove Awards[edit]

Year Award Result
2006 New Artist of the Year Nominated
Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song of the Year ("Trainwreck") Won
2007 Male Vocalist of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year ("Nothing Left to Lose") Nominated
Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year (Nothing Left to Lose) Nominated

Media appearances[edit]

Kearney's songs have appeared on the following television series: 30 Rock, Awake, Dirty Sexy Money, Kyle XY, The Unit, Without a Trace, Laguna Beach, The Hills, Bones, Jericho, Friday Night Lights, Wildfire, What About Brian, South Beach, 8th & Ocean, One Tree Hill, Scrubs, The Closer, NCIS, Life Unexpected, Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, So You Think You Can Dance, The Vampire Diaries and A to Z. His song "Runaway" is featured on the Soul Surfer movie soundtrack. Kearney's song "Sooner or Later" provides the background music to the WWDC 2013 and Google's Zeitgeist 2011: Year in Review video, which was uploaded to YouTube on December 14, 2011. He was also on The Today Show performing the song "Billion".[39] In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ricky Gervais included Kearney on his "Must List", stating "This singer-songwriter does spoken word that sounds like French hip-hop."[40]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "January Flower" did not enter the Billboard 200, but peaked at No. 29 on the Top Album Sales chart.[29]
  2. ^ "Undeniable" did not enter the Hot 100, but peaked at No. 16 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart.[36]
  3. ^ "All I Need" did not enter the Hot 100, but peaked at No. 25 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart.[36]
  4. ^ "Hey Mama" did not enter the Hot 100, but peaked at No. 11 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart.[36]
  1. ^ Anonymous. "Sims-Kearney vows planned in Tennessee " Engagements " - Kosciusko, MS". Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Kuchik, Natalie (October 29, 2014). "Mat Kearney to release new single 'Heartbeat' on November 4 - AXS". AXS. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  3. ^ "Mat Kearney| Singer, Songwriter| Christian Music Artist |". Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Lamberson, Carolyn (October 27, 2005). "Hometown boy takes an unlikely path to Nashville". Eugene Register-Guard. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Mat Kearney". Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  6. ^ "Mat Kearney". Mat Kearney. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  7. ^ "Mat Kearney". Mat Kearney. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  8. ^ "Mat Kearney". Twitter. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  9. ^ "Home". TOUR DE COMPADRES 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  10. ^ "ACCLAIMED SINGER/SONGWRITER MAT KEARNEY SIGNS TO BIG LOUD MOUNTAIN MANAGEMENT". Mat Kearney. Archived from the original on February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  11. ^ "FILOUS - GOODBYE (FT. MAT KEARNEY)". BEAUTIFUL BUZZZ. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  12. ^ "Mat Kearney Announces 2018 Album Title CRAZYTALK with News of the 'CRAZYTALK TOUR' Kicking-Off February 19th in the Pacific Northwest". Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  13. ^ " Mat Kearney, "CRAZYTALK" Review". Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  14. ^ "Mat Kearney Announces 2018 Album Title CRAZYTALK with News of the 'CRAZYTALK TOUR' Kicking-Off February 19th in the Pacific Northwest". Mat Kearney. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  15. ^ "Mat Kearney's CITY OF BLACK AND WHITE REVISITED EP Out Friday". Broadway World. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Bosso, Joe (October 15, 2011). "Interview: Mat Kearney on his new album, Young Love". Music Radar.
  17. ^ Scully, Alan. "Singer-songwriter Mat Kearney content after a season of change". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  18. ^ Drown, Michelle (October 4, 2018). "Interview with Mat Kearney". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  19. ^ Law, John (July 29, 2019). "Finding the balance with Mat Kearney". The Standard. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  20. ^ "Mat & Annie Kearney Welcome Baby Girl into the World". Mat Kearney. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  21. ^ "Mat & Annie Kearney Announce Birth of Violet". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Mat Kearney Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  23. ^ a b "Mat Kearney Chart History: Top Christian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  24. ^ a b "Mat Kearney Chart History: Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  25. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  26. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on February 11, 2015.
  27. ^ "CRAZYTALK by Mat Kearney". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  28. ^ "powerless today // january flower 5.21.21. preorder now". Twitter. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  29. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Top Album Sales". Billboard. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  30. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  31. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  32. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  33. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Christian Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  34. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  35. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 151.
  36. ^ a b c "Mat Kearney Chart History: Bubbling Under Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  37. ^ "New song out now..." Archived from the original on November 24, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2022 – via Twitter.
  38. ^ "Toxic - Grand Canyon - Single by Mat Kearney on Apple Music". Retrieved June 3, 2020 – via Apple Music.
  39. ^ "Zeitgeist 2011: Year in Review". December 14, 2011. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved September 17, 2012 – via YouTube.
  40. ^ "Spotligh on Ricky Gervais". Entertainment Weekly. February 9, 2007. Retrieved February 27, 2018.

External links[edit]