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12:01 AM Friday, 3/16/12 |   |

For some artists, the path to fame is short and sweet. Perhaps Jerrod Niemann knew he had his work cut out for him when he named his self-released 1999 debut album “Long Hard Road.”

Niemann, who grew up in Kansas and counts artists like Lefty Frizzell and songwriters like Whitey Shafer among his influences, began writing and performing as a child.

He started playing in bars and clubs during college before moving to Nashville, where he found some success as a songwriter when artists including Garth Brooks and Jamey Johnson recorded his tunes.

Finding success on his own terms as an artist was slower going, however.

There was one record deal that fell apart, then another. But Niemann kept at it, touring the southern club circuit for years before signing a deal with Arista’s Sea Gayle division in 2010.

His debut on the label, Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury, went to No. 1 on country albums charts and spawned several hit singles including “Lover, Lover.” The label deal also opened doors for future touring opportunities, and WME’s Rob Beckham told Pollstar Niemann has never been one to shy away from a lot of time on the road.

“Jerrod is the seven-year overnight success. He has been one of the hardest working artists in country music over the past three years,” Beckham said, noting Niemann played more than 300 shows during that time, opening for artists including Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert.

“The past couple of years have been great learning opportunities for Jerrod and he continues to grow as artist and entertainer. His future is incredibly bright.”

Niemann is currently out supporting Lambert and will play a string of festival slots this summer.


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