Gary’s wealth of hits since 1996 often makes country fans wonder where he gets his infinite inspiration from. Gary Allan Herzberg has been in the music business since the release of his gold-certified first album Used Heart for Sale. Since 2018, the legend of country music has released ten studio albums and two compilation albums under two different record labels. He has also placed 26 of his singles high in various Billboard charts, seven of them in the Top 10.
Gary Allan’s Biography
The musician was born on 5 December 1967 in La Mirada, California, where he grew up. His family believed strongly in two things: music and education. Gary joined his father Harley at the age of 13 to play regularly in country music bars called Honky Tonks. He also turned down a record deal with A&M Records at the age of 15 in favor of completing his education.
While studying at La Serna High School in Whittier, California, he continued to perform with his band The Honky Tonk Wranglers in sold-out venues. A mixture of opportunity and talent would put Gary in the spotlight. This series of events began when he met songwriter/producer Byron Hill, who would later be a major influence on Allan’s career.
They met in California in 1993 through a mutual friend named Jim Seal. The two got along well and kept in touch over the years, often working together on small projects. In 1995, Gary Allan received a generous check for $12,000 from a wealthy couple after listening to the demo tape that he left in the glove compartment of a truck they bought. The aspiring musician used the money to record some of the songs he and Byron had worked on during their early collaboration.
Byron sent four of these songs to various labels, who immediately began screaming for the musician’s rights. Byron and Gary eventually went to Decca Records. Under Decca, Allan released his first three albums Used Heart for Sale, It Would Be You, and Smoke Rings in the Dark. Although the first two albums produced some high-flying singles, his third album reflected a musical growth and maturity in Allan’s approach that really gave the album wings. It was awarded platinum by the RIAA.
After Decca Records was dissolved in early 1999, Gary was added to the artist list of the parent company MCA Nashville. In the 2000s, Allan went full steam ahead and released four studio albums and one compilation album.
Alright Guy, his fourth studio album, released in 2001, brought his first single to the top of the US Billboard Country Charts. His 2003 album See If I Care produced two number one singles: “Nothing on But the Radio” and “Tough Little Boys”.
His sixth studio album, Tough All Over, was a deeply personal album, as the singer was going through some very hard times in his life at that time. The album was a massive success and 99,000 copies were shipped in the first week. It also reached #3 on Billboard 200 and #1 on the top country albums. At the end of the following year, it was awarded gold.
Gary Allan’s Girlfriend, Wife, Daughter
The California-born country singer has already gotten around marriage a few times. Gary married his first wife, a woman named Tracy Taylor, in 1987 when he was just 19 years old. After he divorced her, he made the alliance with Dannette Day, a model at that time. The wedding took place on November 28, 1998, in South Carolina. However, their union failed because it was canceled less than a year later, in June 1999.
On June 5, 2001, he married his third wife Angela. In the singer’s life, everything seemed to be fine until the tragedy struck. Angela, who had suffered from severe depression and migraines, died in the early morning hours of October 25, 2004. Gary had left the bedroom to get her a coke in the kitchen when he heard the shot. She had put the gun in her mouth and pulled the trigger. In the aftermath of this tragedy, Gary went away from the music to mourn privately. But he decided to channel his grief and transfer it into his music. This led to his successful album Tough All Over Over.
Years later he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about Angela’s life and suicide. Gary Allan has three daughters from his first marriage: Maggie, Dallas, and Tanna. The musician is currently not in a relationship but is said to have dated model Justina Crosslin between 2007 and 2008.
Other Facts You Should Know About Gary Allan
1. Gary can be signed with a record company, but he is not one to follow instructions that are contrary to his personal goals. This was evident in the title of his fifth studio album See If I Care. After he released the album, he stated in interviews that with or without the support of the label he will always make the kind of music he wants to make.
2. In his early days with his suspicious tink band, Gary turned down the help of promoters who wanted to get him a wider audience. His reasoning was that they would try to control the kind of music he performed.
3. Gary has three biological children from his first marriage. However, thanks to his three-year marriage to his third wife Angela, he also has three stepchildren.
4. In 2003 Gary and his family moved to Tennessee with their six children. Interestingly, the location of their new home was only a few blocks away from the place where his ex-wife lived.
5. Allan’s mother cried when he got his first tattoo at the age of 15. She said it made him look like a criminal.
6. Gary Allan was employed as a used car salesman when he signed his first record deal with Decca Records.
7. The country musician had a short stint as an actor. He played Eddie Cochran in the television mini-series Shake, Rattle & Roll. He also appeared on CBS’ Pensacola: Wings of Gold.