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Steve Azar (right) with Sid Rosenberg, March 2009
|Birth name||Stephen Thomas Azar|
April 11, 1964 |
Greenville, Mississippi, United States
|Instruments||Vocals, acoustic guitar|
|Years active||1996, 2001–2004, 2005-present|
|Labels||River North Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Midas Nashville, Dang, Ride|
|Associated acts||A.J. Masters, Bob Regan|
Stephen Thomas "Steve" Azar (born April 11, 1964, Greenville, Mississippi, United States) is an American country music artist. Azar was signed to River North Nashville in 1995, and he released his debut album on February 27, 1996. After leaving River North, Azar took time away from his music. He returned in 2002 with his biggest hit, the No. 2 "I Don't Have to Be Me ('Til Monday)", which was the lead-off single from his second studio album, Waitin' on Joe. The single received three Million-Air awards from BMI and is currently one of the top five most played songs of the past decade on US country radio. The title track, "Waitin' on Joe", went to #1 on CMT and featured Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman. In 2006, Azar released the single "You Don't Know a Thing". The single was supposed to be the lead-off to a third studio album, via Midas Records Nashville. When the song failed to make the Top 40, Azar left Midas. In early 2008, he formed his own label, Ride Records, and released Indianola in 2008, Slide On Over Here in 2009 and Delta Soul: Volume 1 in 2011.
Azar was born and grew up in Greenville, Mississippi. He began writing songs at 10 years old, which led him to develop as a guitarist. Azar had his first Nashville recording session when he was 14. After high school Azar attended Delta State University where he played show after show, including the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. Mississippi native Faith Hill remembers being at his shows as a fan in the front row. Graduating with a degree in business-management, Azar moved to Nashville in 1993, and in two days he was offered three song-publishing contracts.
Azar's debut album, Heartbreak Town was released on February 27, 1996, via River North Nashville Records. The album failed to chart on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. It did, however, feature two charting singles on the country singles charts. The first of these, "Someday", reached No. 51 on the Country charts, and also charted at No. 65 on the RPM Country Singles Chart. The follow-up, "I Never Stopped Loving You", reached No. 50. After the song fell off the charts, River North closed its doors. Azar would be on a hiatus from music until 2001.
Waitin' on Joe
His second studio album, Waitin' on Joe, was released on April 16, 2002, via Universal Music Group Nashville's Mercury Records. The album charted to No. 29 on the Top Country Albums chart. Its lead-off single, "I Don't Have to Be Me ('Til Monday)", was his biggest hit at No. 2. Following it were the No. 28 title track "Waitin' on Joe" and the non-charting "One Good Reason Why". He returned to touring, but by mid-2004, he needed surgery to correct a lesion on his right vocal cord. After healing, he re-entered the charts in 2005 with "Doin' It Right". This song failed to reach Top 40, however, and after a Christmas single called "Catfish Christmas", Azar left Mercury.
Indianola, his third album, was first set to be released in 2006 from Midas Records Nashville. The single, "You Don't Know a Thing", was released, but when the song failed to make the Top 40, Azar left Midas. No singles were released until 2008, when he founded his own label (Dang Records) and released the album that May. Two more singles did make the cut to radio with "I Won't Let You Lead Me Down" failing to chart and "You're My Life" debuting at No. 57 on the Hot Country Songs chart on the chart week of January 17, 2009 becoming his first chart single in three years.
Slide On Over Here
After touring with Bob Seger in 2007, Azar started writing songs for the album. A new single, "Moo La Moo", was released to radio on April 27, 2009. The song debuted at No. 60 on the Hot Country Songs chart for the week of June 20, 2009. It was the lead-off single to Azar's fourth studio album, Slide On Over Here, which debuted at No. 57 on the Top Country Albums chart. The single peaked at No. 39 on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming his first Top 40 single since "Waitin' on Joe" topped at No. 28 on the chart in 2002. A second single, "Sunshine (Everybody Needs a Little)", was released to radio on January 11, 2010; it peaked at No. 27 in October 2010 and became his highest charting hit since "Waitin' On Joe".
The music video for "Moo La Moo" stars Gary Valentine from King of Queens who created a dance-instruction sequence for the project. The album was influenced by Azar's 2006-2007 tour with Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band. Azar has toured in the past with Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Hootie & The Blowfish, and Montgomery Gentry.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart
|US Country||US Heat|
|Waitin' on Joe||
|Slide On Over Here||
|Delta Soul: Volume 1||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|"I Never Stopped Loving You"||50||—|
|"Nights Like This"||—||—|
|2001||"I Don't Have to Be Me ('til Monday)"||2||35||Waitin' on Joe|
|2002||"Waitin' on Joe"||28||—|
|2003||"One Good Reason Why"||—||—|
|2005||"Doin' It Right"||47||—||N/A|
|2006||"You Don't Know a Thing"||49||—||Indianola|
|2008||"I Won't Let You Lead Me Down"||—||—|
|2009||"You're My Life"||52||—|
|"Moo La Moo"||39||—||Slide On Over Here|
|2010||"Sunshine (Everybody Needs a Little)"||27||—|
|2015||"The Sky Is Falling (Patti Jo's Prayer)"
(featuring Sophie Young)
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
Other charted songs
|1996||"Someday"||Steven R. Monroe|
|"I Never Stopped Loving You"||Chris Rogers|
|2001||"I Don't Have to Be Me ('Til Monday)"||Eric Welch|
|2002||"Waitin' on Joe"||Steven Goldmann|
|2005||"Catfish Christmas"||Steven L. Weaver|
|2006||"You Don't Know a Thing"||Peter Zavadil|
|2007||"Dancin' in the Clouds" (with Namrata Singh Gujral)|
|2009||"Moo La Moo"||Eric Welch|
|"Moo La Moo" (dance video)|
|2010||"Sunshine (Everybody Needs a Little)"|