Matt Stell

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Matt Stell
Birth nameMatthew Neal Stell
Genres
Years active2010–present
LabelsRECORDS/Arista Nashville
Associated acts
Websitewww.mattstell.com

Matt Stell is an American country music singer, guitarist, and songwriter. His song "Prayed for You" and his EP Everywhere but On were released in 2019.

Early life[edit]

Stell was born in Center Ridge, Arkansas. He played basketball during high school in the Amateur Athletic Union summer league, and from 2002 to 2006, he played college basketball for Drury University for four years on an athletic scholarship (he's 6 feet 7 inches tall).[1][2] While in college he taught himself to play the guitar, began writing music, formed a band, and began playing local gigs, at first under a pseudonym (Paul Wayne Walker) so his coach wouldn't find out.

After college he worked farming and construction jobs while studying for a master's degree in communications at the University of Arkansas. A medical missions trip to Haiti inspired him to apply to Harvard University's Extension School pre-med program, and he was accepted. But in 2014, shortly before the program would have begun, he had the opportunity to sign a publishing deal with Wide Open Music, and he chose music over medical school.[3]

Music career[edit]

In the early 2010s he released three albums independently: The Sound and the Story, Vestibule Blues, and in March 2013, A River Through It.[4] on 124 Records. He continued playing gigs, and opened for major artists including Luke Bryan and Eric Church. He also wrote for other artists, including Bart Crow, Casey Donahew, and the John D. Hale Band.[5] He moved to Nashville in 2014.

Stell released an EP, Last of the Best, in 2018, and released the hit single, "Prayed For You," which he co-wrote with Allison Veltz and producer Ash Bowers, independently on March 16, 2018. Rolling Stone named "Prayed For You" one of the "10 Best Country Songs to Hear Now".[6] The song captured the attention of Barry Weiss, former president and CEO of Jive Records, who signed Stell to his label, RECORDS, in July 2018.[7] Keith Gale, president of Good Company Entertainment, signed on to promote the song to radio.[8] Also in 2018, Stell was named a CMT Discovery Artist.[9]

In February 2019 "Prayed For You" reached No. 36 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart[10] and in March 2019 it reached No. 54 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.[11] The song received over 15 million plays on Spotify and 44 million altogether within just over a year. The official music video for the song starred reality TV star Savannah Chrisley and her fiancé, hockey player Nic Kerdiles. It premiered at People on July 9, 2018[12] and received over 4.3 million views on YouTube in its first 10 months.

Matt made his Grand Ole Opry debut on April 27, 2019. The same month, Arista Nashville and Sony Music Nashville joined the team working to promote his career.[13][14] He makes a return appearance at the Grand Ole Opry on June 12, 2019 with Old Crow Medicine Show and the Del McCoury Band. In May, Taste of Country named him an Artist to Watch.[15] His major label debut EP, the seven-song Everywhere But On, released May 24, 2019 on RECORDS/Arista Nashville,[16] a week after the debut of the music video for the title track.[17] The EP includes a collaboration with Jimmie Allen.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Live at the Snorty Horse
  • The Sound and the Story
  • Vestibule Blues
  • A River Through It

Extended plays[edit]

  • Last of the Eight
  • Everywhere but On

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart
positions[18]
Sales
US
[19]
US Country US Country Airplay
2019 "Prayed for You" 65 13 9

References[edit]

  1. ^ Puryear, Scott (August 27, 2019). "Former Panther Matt Stell Continues Musical Dream With Return To DU For June 15 Concert With Country Star Josh Turner". drurypanthers.com. Drury Athletics. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  2. ^ Brosius, Jeanni (16 April 2019). "A Dream Come True: Matt Stell Makes His Opry Debut". AY Magazine. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  3. ^ Watts, Cindy (9 May 2019). "Matt Stell walked away from Harvard, earns hit song and Opry debut". Nashville Tennessean. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  4. ^ Ryan, Ben (28 March 2013). "Matt Stell, A River Through It". KKCN. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  5. ^ Ira (3 April 2019). "Talking With Matt Stell – April 4, 2019". Talk About Las Vegas. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  6. ^ Crawford, Robert (1 April 2019). "10 Best Country and Americana Songs to Hear Now: Blake Shelton, Alice Wallace". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  7. ^ "10 Questions with ... Matt Stell". All Access. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  8. ^ Roland, Tom (4 March 2019). "Matt Stell Captures A Life-Changing Journey In 'Prayed For You'" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  9. ^ Bonaguro, Alison (11 April 2019). "How Matt Stell Keeps the Faith". CMT News. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  10. ^ Karp, Hannah (12 April 2019). "Why RECORDS CEO Barry Weiss Is Betting on Country - and Unproven Talent - in His Latest Act". Billboard. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  11. ^ Roland, Tom (13 March 2019). "More Than a (Gut) Feeling: Streaming Data Changes Game For Country Artists Launching Debut Singles". Billboard. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  12. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen (9 July 2018). "Savannah Chrisley Stars in Her First Music Video (with Her Boyfriend!) After Dad Todd's Approval". People. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Matt Stell Benefits From New Partnership With Arista Nashville". All Access. 29 April 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  14. ^ Nicholson, Jessica (29 April 2019). "RECORDS, Sony Music Nashville Announce New Partnership Deal With Matt Stell". Music Row. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  15. ^ Houghton, Cillea (1 May 2019). "Who's Rising Now? 5 Artists to Watch in May 2019". Taste of Country. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  16. ^ Freeman, Jon (May 10, 2019). "'Prayed for You' Singer Matt Stell Details 'Everywhere but On' EP". Rolling Stone.
  17. ^ "Matt Stell Debuts New Music Video For EVERYWHERE BUT ON". Broadway World. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  18. ^ https://bulletins.billboard.com/country/country_update_0617.pdf
  19. ^ "Chart Search: Matt Stell". Billboard. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  20. ^ Bjorke, Matt (September 4, 2019). "Top 30 Digital Country Downloads: September 4, 2019". Roughstock. Retrieved September 8, 2019.