October 25, 2008
Sometimes an artist comes along that has a handful of hits, maybe even a gold record, but never quite makes it to stardom. They seem to be on track for fame, but it doesn’t all come together.
Remember Lari White? She scored three top ten hits off of her 1994 album Wishes, which went gold. Two other solo singles and a duet with Travis Tritt cracked the lower half of the top twenty. She’s since gone on to produce a top-selling album for Toby Keith, but hasn’t charted as a singer since 1999.
Early industry hype for Michael Peterson had him being compared to Garth Brooks. His career took off quickly in 1997, with his first three singles going top ten. “From Here to Eternity”, a title he cribbed from a video rental shelf, topped the charts. His debut album went gold and he was nominated for the Horizon Award in 1998. Alas, the hits dried up soon after, and he was dropped from his label when sophomore album failed to meet expectations.
And what to make of Chely Wright? For a good decade, she bounced from label to label, with her most successful stint being a three-album run for MCA. That produced her only top ten hit, “Single White Female”, which went #1 in 1999. The album of the same name went gold. But aside from two other top twenty hits for the label (“Shut Up and Drive” and “It Was”), Wright never broke through. An unsuccessful push to make her a country-pop diva ala Twain and Hill was her undoing. She’s yet to come close to the big time again, despite great singles like “The Back of the Bottom Drawer.”
Who are some other “Almost Famous” stars that you remember? Could this be an interesting regular feature?