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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 in 1974.
Brandt was born in Calgary, Alberta and grew up in Airdrie, Alberta. The first time 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 a purpose of finding a new project that the two branches could work on together. Nashville A&R Paige Levy singled out Brandt's recordings, later mentioning to HitQuarters about his great potential as a songwriter. As a result, the artist started travelling down to Nashville to undergo development. He 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. This 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 received as warmly as the previous two, but the songs "That's the Truth" and "The Sycamore Tree" became popular. 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.
In September 2007 Brandt released his album, Risk. On April 6, 2008, Paul won a Juno Award for "Risk" as Country Recording of the Year in his home town . 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 which Brandt grew up on and based his life upon.
Brandt and his wife, Elizabeth Peterson, were married on February 22, 1997 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at the Centre Street Church, and had their first child in 2008. In November 2010, they had a daughter.
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.