Paul Brandt circa 2015
|Paul Rennée Belobersycky|
July 21, 1972 |
Paul Rennée Belobersycky (born July 21, 1972) is a Canadian country music artist, known professionally as Paul Brandt. Growing up in Calgary, he was a pediatric RN at the time of his big break. In 1996, he made his mark on the country music charts with the single "My Heart Has a History," propelling him to international success and making him the first male Canadian country singer to reach the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in the United States since Hank Snow, who last charted a Top 10 hit when "Hello Love" hit No. 1 in 1974. Brandt is married to Elizabeth Peterson, who can be seen in some of his music videos, and heard singing background on his CDs. A duet of the song "For You", written by Brandt and Steve Rosen, was used by Dave Matthews and Johnny Cash on the We Were Soldiers soundtrack.
Brandt was born in Calgary, Alberta and grew up in Airdrie, Alberta. The first time Paul Brandt sang in front of an audience was when he sang "Amazing Grace" at his high school. He attended Crescent Heights High School from 1987-1990.
Brandt's demo was one of many sent, by A&Rs at the Warner Canada office to their colleagues at Warner Nashville with an eye to finding a new project the two branches could work together on. Nashville A&R Paige Levy singled out Brandt's recordings, later telling HitQuarters that she thought he showed great potential as a songwriter. As a result, the artist began regularly travelling down to Nashville to undergo development, whereby Brandt was matched up with various experienced songwriters whom he could relate to, work well with and who would help him to refine his writing skills. The collaborations resulted in a large part of the material for Brandt's debut album Calm Before the Storm.
Brandt's first single, "My Heart Has a History," was a number 1 hit in Canada, as was his debut album, "Calm Before The Storm". He followed up with the three hits "I Do" (which he wrote for his friend's wedding), "I Meant to Do That" and "Take It from Me." Calm Before the Storm was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1997.
Brandt's second album, Outside the Frame, did not repeat the same success as Calm Before the Storm did. The album did have some hit singles, most notably "A Little in Love" and "What's Come Over You." Determined to put his stamp in Nashville, Brandt recorded his third album, That's the Truth, in 1999. It was not as warmly received as the previous two, but the songs "That's the Truth" and "The Sycamore Tree" received extensive airplay. After three albums, he released the Canada only greatest hits compilation, What I Want to Be Remembered For, in 2000.
After the greatest hits album, Brandt left Warner/Reprise records and started his own label, Brand-T Records. To date, every album that Brandt has released on Brand-T Records has garnered an Album of the Year award (Small Towns & Big Dreams (2002 CCMA's), This Time Around (2005 CCMA's), Risk (2008 Juno), and A Gift (GMA - Seasonal Recording of the Year). As an unsigned artist, Paul's ground-breaking live acoustic album Small Towns and Big Dreams went on to win the CCMA Album of the Year. His label's success has continued as the follow-up album This Time Around went on to win CCMA Album of the Year and a GMA Canada Covenant Award for the song "That's What I Love About Jesus" (2005). This Time Around went platinum in Canada and also produced the hit songs "Leavin'", featuring Keith Urban courtesy Capitol Records, and his remake of the trucker classic song "Convoy." His last single/video from the album was "Alberta Bound," a tribute to the people and places of that province. Despite the song's name, it is not a remake of the Gordon Lightfoot track.
Brandt released his album, Risk, in September 2007, and in his home town on April 6, 2008, Paul won a Juno Award for "Risk" as Country Recording of the Year. The first single for this project, "Didn't Even See the Dust," was released to country radio in May 2007. The video was filmed in Barcelona, Spain. "Dust" was one of the 20 most played country music songs of 2007 in Canada.
Brandt released the album Give It Away on September 13, 2011. He released his first gospel project called Just As I Am on October 16, 2012. It features songs Brandt grew up on and based his life upon; his faith and love in God.
Paul Brandt continues to tour Canada, while playing in front of audiences in the United States occasionally.
Brandt and his wife, Elizabeth Peterson, were married February 22, 1997 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at the Centre Street Church, and welcomed their first child, Joseph Peterson Brandt, on May 15, 2008. November 7, 2010, they welcomed a daughter, Lily Abigail Brandt.
Brandt and his wife are heavily involved in programs such as Samaritan's Purse and World Vision. He also does a lot of work with terminally ill children, which goes back to his days working as a nurse at Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary. He has spent a term as a spokesman for The Ford Motor Company, and UFA (United Farmers of Alberta). The Brandts reside near Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Brandt received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Lethbridge on Saturday, October 17, 2009. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Briercrest College and Seminary on April 24, 2010.