Clay Walker was born Aug. 19, 1969, in Beaumont, Texas. He fell in love with country music at an early age, when his father gave him a guitar when he was only nine years old. After he graduated from high school, Walker pursued a musical career full-time, playing concerts across the South, the Midwest and Canada. For more than three years, he toured and went to school, taking courses about the music business. During this time, he acted as his own manager.
Eventually, he became the house singer at the Neon Armadillo bar in Beaumont. While performing at the club, producer James Stroud heard Walker and offered to work with the singer. Stroud helped Walker secure a contract with Giant Records, a small label compared to the majors in Nashville, and Walker's commercial sound proved lucrative.
Released in 1993, his first two singles -- "What's It To You" and "Live Until I Die" -- reached No. 1, and he emerged as a popular live performer, especially in Texas. By the end of 1998, he'd notched a dozen Top 5 hits and his first four studio albums were certified platinum. Within two years, his Greatest Hits and the follow-up album Live, Laugh, Love were certified gold.
In the midst of his success, Walker went public with his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 1996. When Giant Records shuttered in 2001, Walker released a Christmas album on Warner Bros. in 2002 and A Few Questions on RCA in 2003.