27 January 1968, Atlanta, Texas, USA. The son of a banker, Lawrence was raised in Foreman, Arkansas, and sang in the church choir. He started working in honky tonks when he was 17 years old and moved to Nashville in 1990. He recorded his first album and the future looked bright until, on May 31 1991, he and his girlfriend were accosted by four thugs in a hotel parking lot. He suffered gunshot wounds and his album was put on hold for five months while he recovered. Sticks And Stones sold over 500, 000 copies and he had country hits with the Billboard chart-topping title track, Todays Lonely Fool, Runnin Behind and Somebody Paints The Wall.
In 1993, Lawrence enjoyed a hat trick of number 1s, Alibis, Cant Break It To My Heart and My Second Home (the video for which served as a Whos Who of New Country music). The following year Lawrence released I See It Now, one of the best collections of new honky-tonk recorded in the 90s. The album featured his fifth Billboard chart-topper, Texas Tornado. In 1996, he reached number 1 again with Time Marches On and Is That A Tear, although the albums Time Marches On and the follow-up The Coast Is Clear were lesser collections.
Lawrences personal life began to disintegrate at the end of the 90s, with a high profile conviction on a misdemeanour assault charge which ultimately culminated in a divorce settlement with his second wife. The singer returned to recording with 2000s Lessons Learned, and though he enjoyed a Top 5 country hit with the title track sales of the album tailed off alarmingly. He left Atlantic for Warner Brothers Records for 2001s self-titled collection, but neither this album or the follow-up Strong (on the DreamWorks label) managed to restore the commercial profile Lawrence had enjoyed in the mid-90s. He launched his own record label Rocky Comfort in 2006, releasing For The Love the following year.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.