Tia Sillers

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Tia Sillers
Birth nameTia Sillers
BornStamford, Connecticut, U.S.
GenresCountry, Pop, Blues, Rock
Years active1990-present
Associated actsLee Ann Womack, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dixie Chicks, Johnny Reid, Mark Selby

Tia Sillers is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter. She has written over 40 singles in multiple music formats, including the Lee Ann Womack single "I Hope You Dance", and the Kenny Wayne Shepherd single "Blue on Black".

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Stamford, Connecticut, Sillers' family moved several times during her childhood before finally settling in Nashville, Tennessee in 1980. It was while at Father Ryan High School that Tia first attended Writer's Night shows at the Bluebird Cafe. The writers Don Schlitz and Alan Shamblin were among her earliest influences.[1] While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sillers began writing songs. The Nashville Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) office on Music Row helped secure her first publishing deal with Tom Collins Music in 1991 and had her first cuts and single with George Ducas on Liberty Records. The single "Lipstick Promises", which peaked at #10,[2] helped establish her reputation.


Sillers, along with Mark D. Sanders, wrote the Lee Ann Womack song "I Hope You Dance". The song became a No. 1 country hit and Top 20 pop hit for Lee Ann Womack and received the Grammy Award for "Best Country Song," as well as a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year.[3] The song also received CMA & ACM Awards for Song of the Year in 2000. The song stayed on top of the Billboard Country chart for five consecutive weeks.[4]

The song's popularity led to the release of a book entitled "I Hope You Dance", another collaboration of Sillers and Sanders, which became a New York Times Bestseller.[5] The book contains poems and writings inspired by the song and has sold over two million copies to date. There is also an "I Hope You Dance" children's book and journal. Sanders and Sillers later collaborated again on a book entitled "Climb".[6] In film, the song was featured in the 2008 movie Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys with lines from the song in the script and multiple versions performed both by Womack and Gladys Knight.[7] Additionally, a 2015 documentary 'I Hope You Dance: The Power and Spirit of Song'[8] which included commentary by Maya Angelou and Brian Wilson was released as a Hallmark Special.[9]

Sillers wrote "Blue on Black" with Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Mark Selby.[10] Released on April 7, 1998, the track spent 42 weeks on the US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and rose to number one, remaining there for six non-consecutive weeks.[11] "Blue on Black" was regarded as the best rock song of 1998 by various media, winning the Billboard Music Award for Rock Track of the Year.[12] In 2019, "Blue on Black" enjoyed number one success again, this time recorded as a vocal and musical event including Five Finger Death Punch, Brantley Gilbert, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Brian May.

More than 30 million records have been sold featuring Sillers' compositions. Her catalogue has stretched across genres, countries, and generations of recording artists, including David Nail, John Waite, Engelbert Humperdinck, Little River Band, Vince Gill, Patti Page, Ronan Keating, John Pardi, Jennifer Lopez and Five Finger Death Punch.[13]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In 1998, Sillers' song, "Blue On Black", won a Billboard Music Award for Rock Track Of The Year. Sillers' most recent award was in 2010 from the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Songwriter(s) of the Year for the song "Dance with Me" (written by Victoria Banks, Johnny Reid, and Tia Sillers; recorded by Johnny Reid).

Year Award Song Artist Result
1998 Billboard Music Award "Blue On Black" Kenny Wayne Shepherd Won
1999 Grammy "There's Your Trouble" Dixie Checks Won
2000 CMA "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack Won
2001 Grammy "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack Won
2001 Grammy "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack Nominated
2001 Academy of Country Music "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack Won
2001 Nashville Songwriters Association International "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack Won
2001 ASCAP "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack Won
2001 BMI "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack Won
2007 Dove "Jonah, Job, Moses & Me" Oak Ridge Boys Won
2009 Grammy "Heaven, Heartache & the Power of Love" Trisha Yearwood Nominated
2009 Canadian Country Music Association "The Wheel" Victoria Banks Nominated
2010 Canadian Country Music Association “Dance With Me” Johnny Reid Won

Notable works[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Sillers was married to musician and frequent collaborator Mark Selby for 16 years. Selby died of cancer in September 2017.

Mark Selby - electric guitar 1


External links[edit]