Paul Brandt, singer, songwriter (b at Calgary 21 July 1972). Paul Brandt grew up on gospel music and sang in church, but he soon developed a love for country music and, in 1992, won $1 000 in a talent contest at the Calgary Stampede. At the same time he was pursuing a career as a pediatric nurse, but music took a more prominent role in his life after his "Calm Before the Storm" was named best original Canadian country song by SOCAN, Canada's performing rights society, during the annual Country Music Week. That caught the attention of both Warner Music Canada and Reprise Records in Nashville, and Brandt was soon signed to a joint deal by the 2 labels. "Calm Before the Storm" became the title track of his 1996 debut album, which has sold more than 200 000 copies in Canada. Country Music Television named him male rising video star of 1996, and his "My Heart Has a History" single topped the Canadian country year-end chart and performed well in the United States. Brandt was named Top Country Male Vocalist at the 1997 JUNO AWARDS, and later that year at the Canadian Country Music Awards took 4 prizes - best male vocalist, single, video and SOCAN Song of the Year for "I Do." Paul Brandt's next album, Outside the Frame, was released that fall and has sold more than 100 000 copies; it has also earned Brandt another top male vocalist title at the Canadian Country Music Awards and Junos for both male vocalist and country male vocalist. Brandt released a Christmas album in 1998 and another collection of new songs, That's the Truth, in 1999, which won him an award for Best Country Male Artist at the 2000 Junos. While the overall popularity of country music had subsided somewhat, the album further cemented Brandt's place as Canada's top male in the genre. A greatest hits album, What I Want to Be Remembered For, was released in 2000.
Paul Brandt formed his own Brand-T Records label and moved from Warner to BMG in 2002 to deliver another winning album with Small Towns and Big Dreams. For 2004's This Time Around, Brand-T partnered with the upstart Orange Record Label, a Toronto-based, Universal Music Canada-distributed imprint. The disc spawned the hits "Leavin'," "Convoy" and "Home" and propelled sales beyond platinum status. Late in 2004, Brandt recorded a duet titled "Hands" with his wife, Liz. He released a Christmas album titled The Gift in 2006, followed by a new album, Risk, in 2007, along with a retrospective DVD to coincide with his fall Canadian tour. Give It Away was released in 2011 and the 7 disk box set Now in 2011.
In 2012 Paul Brandt released Just As I Am, a collection of gospel covers,. For this album, the singer chose to revisit the hymns and traditional songs that had shaped his early spiritual and musical development, selecting songs that not only had special meaning to himself but that he also felt would resonate with a broad cross-section of his fans. The set was recorded at Nashville's Ocean Way Studios with guest contributions from artists including John Anderson, The Whites, Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs, and featured such staples of the country-gospel repertoire as "Amazing Grace," "I'll Fly Away" and "How Great Thou Art."
Paul Brandt has done charitable work around the globe for World Vision, Samaritan's Purse, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and other groups. His efforts were recognized by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which presented him the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award at the 2008 Juno Awards, where Risk was also named Best Country Recording. Although he grew up without having a TV in his house until he was 13, he has since become a seasoned veteran of the format through various appearances and performances on a variety of small-screen shows. He has hosted the televised Canadian Country Music Awards show a record 7 times.
In just 12 years, Brandt has become the most awarded male artist in Canadian history. He has won 7 Junos and 14 Canadian Country Music Awards, while his domestic record sales are now well over a million. He was also named the American Country Music Association's 2005 global country artist of the year. The award recognizes outstanding achievement by country music artists who have furthered the popularity of the genre and brought attention to it in their region.