You're Easy on the Eyes
Canadian country music singer, songwriter and music producer Terri Clark began her career as a club singer in Nashville in the late 1980s. She signed with Mercury Records in 1995 and experienced a huge breakthrough with her eponymous debut album. Released in August 1995, the album went platinum in the U.S. and triple platinum in Canada. It spawned her first Canadian No. 1 country hit, “If I Were You.” Her sophomore effort, “Just the Same” (1996), went double platinum in Canada and platinum in the U.S., while the third, “How I Feel,” (1998) went gold in both countries. These albums produced the chart toppers “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” “Emotional Girl” and “You're Easy on the Eyes,” the singer's first No. 1 hit in the U.S. Clark went on to record three more studio albums with Mercury before she left the label in 2006. Her seventh studio album, “The Long Way Home,” was released in Canada in September 2009 via her own label, Baretrack Records. Clark has also released three compilation albums and a live album. Her first greatest hits album, “Greatest Hits 1994-2004” (2004), generated the country hit “Girls Lie Too,” her second U.S. No. 1 hit single.
On June 12, 2004, Clark officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She has won a number of Canadian Country Music Awards, including the Female Artist of the Year Awards three times.
Clark enjoys watching the television series “Six Feet Under” and mentions “The Other Sister” and “Shrek” as her favorite movies. Her other interests include reading, camping and cooking.
Childhood and Family:
Terri Clark was born Terri Lynn Sauson on August 5, 1968, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to Linda and Les. Her parents divorced when she was a child and her mother remarried. Terri’s last name was taken from a stepfather.
Terri was raised in a small town called Medicine Hat, in Alberta, and has three siblings. Part of a musical family, her grandparents, Ray and Betty Gauthier, were country stars in Canada and opening acts for big names like Johnny Cash, George Jones and Little Jimmy Dickens, while her mother sang folk songs in local coffeehouses. Young Terri taught herself how to play guitar by listening to her grandparents’ records. Her other inspirations included Reba McEntire, Linda Ronstadt, and the Judds. After graduating from Medicine Hat's Crescent Heights High School in 1987, she headed to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue her dream of becoming a country music star.
In 1991, Terri married musician Ted Stevenson, but they divorced in 1996. On September 17, 2005, she married her tour manager Greg Kaczor. The couple divorced on February 16, 2007.
In late 2007, Terri was informed that her mother had been diagnosed with cancer. The tumor was removed but her mother died on April 4, 2010. Terri has stated that her mother was her biggest influence in life.
The Long Way Home
In Nashville, Terri Clark began as a club singer at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge. She would spend the next seven years singing at clubs and working odd jobs before landing an audition for Mercury Records in 1994. She was signed to the label after its president saw one of her live performances.
Clark's self-titled debut album was launched on August 8, 1995, and emerged as an immediate hit. It rose to No. 2 on the Canadian Country chart and peaked at No. 13 on the U.S. Top Country Albums chart. The album, produced by Keith Stegall and Chris Waters, also rose to No. 1 on the Top Heatseekers Albums chart and entered the Billboard 200 at number 79. “Terri Clark” spawned four singles in Canada and the U.S. “Better Things to Do” and “When Boy Meets Girl” peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. and Canadian country charts. The third single, “If I Were You,” which she wrote, went to No. 1 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks in June 1996. It also peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks. The last single, “Suddenly Single,” rose to No. 11 and No. 34 on the Canadian and U.S. Country charts, respectively. The album was eventually certified triple platinum by CRIA and platinum by RIAA. In support of the album, Clark toured as an opening act for George Strait. At the 1996 Country Music Association Awards, she was nominated for the Horizon Award. She also received a nomination for Best New Female Vocalist at the 1996 Academy of Country Music Awards. In Canada, the artist won the Canadian Country Music awards in the categories of Album of the Year and Single of the Year.
Co-produced by Clark, the second studio album, “Just the Same,” followed on November 5, 1996. The album peaked at No. 3 on the Canadian Country Albums chart and No. 10 on the U.S. Top Country Albums chart. It also rose to No. 47 on the Canadian Albums Chart and No. 58 on the Billboard 200. The lead single, “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” a cover of a Warren Zevon 1976 rock single, peaked at No. 1 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks and No. 5 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks. The next single, “Emotional Girl,” rose to the top of the Canadian RPM Country Tracks and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks. The title track went to No. 16 and No. 49 on the Canadian and the U.S. Country charts, respectively, while the fourth single, “Something in the Water,” was a No. 39 hit in Canada. In 1997, Clark won the Canadian Country Music Association's Fans' Choice Award, an award she would receive six more times between 2001 and 2007, and an award for Female Artist of the Year, an award she would also take in 2004 and 2005.
In March 1998, Clark traveled to Calgary to shoot her first television special, “Terri Clark: Coming Home,” which was broadcasted on March 27, 1998, on CBS in Canada. Later that same year, she released the album “How I Feel” on Mercury Records Nashville. Produced by Keith Stegall, the album peaked at No. 4 on the Canadian Country Albums chart and No. 10 on the U.S. Country chart. It also went to No. 38 on the Canadian Albums chart and No. 70 on the Billboard 200. The first single, “Now That I Fond You,” (1998) rose to No.2 on the Canadian and U.S. Country charts and No. 72 on the Billboard Hot 100. The singer, however, did not score her first American No.1 hit until the release of “You're Easy on the Eyes,” which spent three weeks on the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks. The song also went to No. 1 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks and peaked at No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The third single, “Everytime I Cry,” (1999) peaked at No. 2 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks, No. 12 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks and No. 69 on the Billboard Hot 100. The fourth single, “Unsung Hero,” which was previously recorded by Tina Arena in 1995, peaked at No. 15 in Canada and No. 47 in the U.S. “How I Feel” was certified platinum in Canada and the U.S., and Clark supported the album as an opening act for Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn in 1998.
Clark's album “Fearless” hit the music stores on September 19, 2000, and peaked at No. 85 on the Billboard 200. The album, which she co-produced, went gold in Canada. “Fearless” produced the singles “A Little Gasoline,” “No Fear” and “Getting There.” In the U.S., the singles went to No. 13, No. 27 and No. 41 on the Billboard Country chart and “A Little Gasoline” peaked at No. 75 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In May 2001, Clark was arrested in Nashville for speeding. She was ordered to do a sobriety test after the officer suspected that she had consumed alcohol, but she refused. She was then charged with a DUI. In August, she pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving and was fined $350 plus court costs, put on probation for six months and ordered to take an alcohol education course.
In December 2001, after a change in management, Clark returned to the studio to work on the album “Pain to Kill.” The album was released on January 14, 2003, and peaked at No. 4 on the Canadian country and No. 5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts. It also went to the Top 30 on the Billboard 200 (#27). The singles “I Just Wanna Be Mad,” “Three Mississippi” and “I Wanna Do It All” respectively rose to No. 2, No. 30, and No. 3 on the Billboard country charts with the first and latter singles also peaking at No. 27 and No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Clark's first greatest hits album, “Greatest Hits 1994–2004,” was released on July 27, 2004, on Mercury Records. It gave the singer her first No. 1 hit country record in Canada. In the U.S., the album peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Country chart and No. 14 on the Billboard 200. It was certified gold in both countries. The compilation album contained the new tracks “Girls Lie Too,” “One of the Guys” and a live rendition of her 2000 single “No Fear,” in addition to her highest charting singles in the United States between 1994 and 2004. “Girls Lie Too” went to No.1 on the Billboard Country chart and peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. After the release of the single, Clark launched “The World Needs a Drink” (still 2004), which rose to No. 26 on the Billboard Country chart. It was not included on the album.
The album “Life Goes On” was released on November 1, 2005. Produced Byron Gallimore and James Stroud, it became her first album not to be produced by Stegall. The album peaked at No. 1 on the Canadian country, No. 4 on the U.S. Country chart and No. 26 on the Canadian Albums chart and the Billboard 200. It also yielded the singles “She Didn't Have Time,” a No. 25 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, “Damn Right” and “Slow News Day.”
After “Life Goes On,” Clark parted ways with Mercury Records although the label did release the compilations “20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection” (2006) and “The Definitive Collection” (2008). In June 2006, she signed with BNA Records, a part of the Sony/BMG label. Her first single for the label, “Dirty Girl” (2007), rose to No. 30 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and No. 68 on the Canadian Hot 100. The second single, “In My Next Life,” (2007) peaked #36 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and No. 66 on the Canadian Hot 100. Her debut album with the label, “In My Next Life,” was postponed several times and Clark left NBA in November 2008.
On July 8, 2009, Clark released the live album “Terri Clark Live: Road Rage” on her own label, Baretrack Records. It was followed by the album “The Long Way Home,” which was released in Canada on September 1, 2009, and peaked at No. 3 on the Canadian Top Country Albums, No. 16 on the Canadian Albums Chart and No. 44 on the Billboard Top Country Albums. The album spawned four Canadian Country hit singles with “Gypsy Boots” (#9), “If You Want Fire” (#5, both 2009), “A Million Ways to Run” (#16) and “You Tell Me” (with Johnny Reid, #16, both 2010).
Canadian Country Music: Female Artist of the Year, 2005
Canadian Country Music: Female Artist of the Year, 2004
Canadian Country Music: Fans' Choice Award, six times, between 2001 and 2007
Canadian Country Music: Female Artist of the Year, 1997
Canadian Country Music: Fans' Choice Award, 1997
Canadian Country Music: Album of the Year, “Terri Clark,” 1996
Canadian Country Music: Single of the Year, “Better Things to Do,” 1996