The Reader's Digest version of Mark Wills' story makes it clear he's an award-winning singer's singer. His matchless phrasing, passionate and meaningful delivery and right-on-the money vocals make each and every song he performs come alive. Like a picture perfect painting, Wills' music is a vocal work of art that walks right off the canvas and into the hearts of country music lovers alike.
Bringing the Wills' dimension to some of the greatest songs ever written, he's not necessarily become known for being trendy, hip or even on the cutting edge, but rather and simply as a damn good singer!
"I think I'm a good storyteller to make a son g meaningful. Whether romantic or 'reality,' my focus is on the music delivery to make it my own for the people who listen—so that they can make it their own."
And the people listen...
His list of accolades is his testament. Mark Wills is a multi-platinum selling country music star with eight top 10 hits to his name including "19 Something," "Wish You Were Here" and "Don't Laugh At Me;" all of which received nominations for Single, Song and Video of the Year by the Country Music Association. Wills won the Academy of Country Music 's award for Top New Male Vocalist in 1998. In 2002, his single "19 Something" spent six consecutive weeks at No. 1, was Billboard's top country hit of the year and was the second most-played song of the decade in 2009.
...and that's just a chapter in Mark Wills' life story.
Since garnering his Top New Male Vocalist recognition in 1998, Wills has become a staple in country music, like salt and pepper on a table; the chapters may have changed, but the story continues. The father of two daughters, a husband and the head of household, Mark's role in life and music are one in the same.
"I think I'm at a point where I've seen all sides of me! I've become more aware of who I am not only as an artist, but as a father, a husband and a friend...and as a dad, I want to put out music my children can listen to; all in all, I take more ownership in it."
His ownership is made evident in his newest collection of recordings on the CD entitled LOOKING FOR AMERICA; an assortment of tunes Mark describes as different, yet the same.
LOOKING FOR AMERICA is a project with no 'sacrifices.' With titles like "Smoking Gun," "Where Did I Lose You," "A Whole World" and "Rocking The Country," the tracks are not just about a rhyme and a hook, they're a menagerie of people-stories--a musical exhibition of heart-heavy, romantic, comedic all-American existence with apple pie flavor. Describing the hue of the music, Wills colors his music "dark blue."
"I'm a man of many personalities with a lot that I want to say. There's a fun, down-home side of me, and then there's an emotional, serious side. I think LOOKING FOR AMERICA, topically, is a human interest story of love, tragedyand life's unexpected."
Anyone who has ever seen him in concert, or has met with him personally, knows that inside this humble, good ol' boy, country singer dwells a soul who just wants to speak to and for all with his music. LOOKING FOR AMERICA delivers music with a no-holds-barred edge softened with a trademarked tenor vocal that will capture the attention of music lovers from every genre from first cut to last.
LOOKING FOR AMERICA clearly raises the flag to demonstrate the responsibility he feels to Americans alike, and specifically our military, with the title cut and "Crazy Being Home."
Wills has made more seven trips to entertain our troops; he is familiar with the places they've been. His trips have taken him to Iraq , Afghanistan and Kuwait . He has also performed at several events for the Champions for Champions Organization, the USO and a variety of Fallen Soldier Charities here in the U.S. Having become personally acquainted with the faces of our brothers and sisters of the military, LOOKING FOR AMERICA is dedicated in part to these brave individuals.
First of all, it's a privilege to provide a little joy and entertainment for these people. The first time I went, it was a life-changing experience. The freedom that we have is not something that I take for granted--they're literally giving their lives for us. By playing a show for them or releasing a song that shares their emotional story, it's my way, however minimal, to say 'Thank You.'"
Supporting our troops is just one of a number of philanthropic endeavors Mark Wills dedicates his time and effort to. He has aligned with USA Cares to launch a national awareness campaign surrounding the severity of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Since 2007, Mark has been the spokesperson for the Children's Miracle Network and its annual celebrations.
As an active representative, he accompanies miracle children to Walt Disney World and then to Washington each year as part of a national awareness campaign; the children enjoy lunch with Congress and a trip to the White House to meet with the President.
Turning the page from bringing all-American music to life to his own brush with death, Wills was caught by surprise by an unexpected, eye-opening crisis. In October 2010, Mark experienced what felt like a "poke" in his side that was followed by flu-like symptoms. A visit to the doctor took him straight to the emergency room. "The nurse said, 'we have to admit you immediately,' I said, 'I need to go home to let the girls know,' her response to me was, 'You don't have the time." Mark suffered from an intestinal infection that could have taken his life, but he pulled through with a nine-inch long scar to remind him of its value.
"It was a dire circumstance and it gave me a whole new perspective in all aspects of my life."
A man whose appetite for life surpasses what most people can only dream of - a dedicated parent, philanthropist, outdoorsman, jokester - but, more than anything, else Mark Wills is an artist and, behind the artist, is an even better singer.
"When the story comes to 'The End,' I just want to be remembered as a great singer - who sang great songs - and used his talents to not only speak to people but was the voice for many." - markwills.com