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"I'm very happy that radio is still giving me the opportunity to be a part of country music."
- Aaron Tippin

Talkin' With Tippin

starSome folks may have expected Aaron Tippin to fade into the woodwork a few years ago, but instead, he's polished up his act. Moving from RCA Records to Disney's Lyric Street Records infused the workingman with the enthusiasm he needed to be creative again. He recently came out with what is considered to be one of his biggest hits, the No. 1 song "Kiss This." He co-wrote the tune, the first single off his new People Like Us album, with his wife, Thea, and little-known songwriter Phillip Douglas. Aaron and Thea have actually been writing together for six years, but this is the first time one of her tunes has ended up on an album of his. Another song the couple penned, "The Best Love We Ever Made," is also on People Like Us, which was recently certified gold.

Born in Pensacola, Fla., and raised in the mountains of South Carolina, Aaron began singing as a way to pass the time while working on his family's farm. His two passions were country music and flying planes. With his heart set on becoming an airline pilot, Aaron flew as a freelance and corporate pilot -- among his many passengers was comedian Bob Hope. When the fuel shortage hit in the late '70s, Aaron realized he'd have to look for another career. He began playing honky-tonks and in 1986 he made a trip to Nashville. He began writing songs, landed a publishing deal and, soon after, moved to Music City. To make ends meet, he worked the midnight shift at a factory in Kentucky while commuting back to Nashville during the day to write tunes.

In 1990, Aaron was signed to RCA and the following year his debut album, You've Got To Stand for Something, was released. It wasn't long before Aaron began racking up a string of gold- and platinum-selling records as well as such Top 10 singles as "There Ain't Nothing Wrong With the Radio," "I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way," "My Blue Angel," "Working Man's Ph.D." and "That's as Close as I'll Get To Loving You." When Aaron's hit machine began to slow down in the mid '90s, he parted ways with RCA, eventually signing with Lyric Street in 1998. Now, with the success of People Like Us and "Kiss This," the label's first No. 1 hit, Aaron's back on top of his game.

While he enjoys hitting the road and playing for his fans, Aaron also loves spending time at home with his family. He lives in a log house in rural DeKalb County, Tenn., with Thea, 21-year-old daughter (from a previous marriage) Charla, almost-three-year-old son Teddy and upcoming arrival Thomas Aaron, who's due date is Dec. 8. It's no wonder people like us seem to like music by people like him. (by Donna Hughes)

Ain't Nothing Wrong With the Radio

Aaron TippinAaron Tippin: It doesn't hurt my feelings if somebody says, 'Hey, they just dug up Aaron Tippin again and guess what? He had a hit.' That doesn't hurt my feelings at all. I'm very happy that radio is still giving me the opportunity to be a part of country music -- what's going on in it -- and I appreciate that. Everybody in this town embracing ['Kiss This'] like this, and seeing that there's still a lot of good music in us -- that's neat. You know, I remember my first No. 1 record and that was a cool feeling. I've been fortunate enough to have a couple more and that's really neat. But the [neatest] thing, I think -- I don't want it to be overshadowed by any means -- is [that] this is Thea's No. 1 record, you know, her first song. She's written with me for five or six years, never been on an album, worked hard. Finally, she gets on an album with a song. She gets a single out of this song, goes to No. 1.

Right in the Kisser

I most admire [Thea] . . . she's a Belmont [University] graduate -- music major, majored in voice -- so . . . she's got such better education in music than I have, [and probably more than] any of the producers I've worked with. When we go to the studio, all of us lean on her because she's got great pitch. She hears things . . . She knows me so well, it's valuable on cutting down on recording times, 'cause if I've said something in a phrase that . . . you cannot understand at all, she's the first one to recognize it . . . So she's very valuable in that respect. And I think I admire her for that, that knowing that she is so talented, and she is a good example of the great talent that comes to [Nashville] and they're somewhere in the background . . . She's in the shadows, but she's a super talent. This is the day of the reckoning, or this year, to see her step out and get some overdue glory.

Video Saved the Radio Star

[Doing my own driving in the 'Kiss This' video] was very exciting. They came up with a concept at the end of the video in 'Kiss This,' driving that car around. That's a lot of fun, tearing up somebody else's car and burning up their gas. [Laughs.] . . . At the end of [the clip] when [the actress] turns around and says 'See ya' [to her ex-beau], then it kind of picks up where I pull up in front of her apartment building to drop her off and then she says, 'See ya.' Then I take off for a night on the town, headed to see my friends and whatnot.

In the beginning it was really fun, 'cause I realized that's probably as close as I'll ever get to being an actor is pretending in a video. But now, I'm the best friend that a producer and director has, 'cause I want to get that shot made and I want to get back home, 'cause that's what counts to me is to be with them every second I possibly can. So, if we need to do another shot -- boom! -- I'm right back at one, ready to go, so we can do it and get it done quick and get back to living.

Waxing Presidential

I'm always looking for the guy that wants to make sure citizens retain as many of their rights as they possibly can, and that's always what's important to me. Because I think that's the whole idea about being free is being free and responsible.

He's No Grinch

The older you get, the more the holidays are so important and so much more fun [is] involved. I think it's really a great thing, because I enjoyed it when [Charla] was a kid, opening all of the presents and stuff, and then when you get up to my age and you get to go through it again, it's double the fun . . . I remember when Teddy was born, Charla was with me . . . We went to Wal-Mart and bought all kinds of junk for Teddy. He's laying there . . . five days old. We were out buying presents like he was going to ride a tricycle across the floor in front of the Christmas tree. It's a thrill. I love it! It's living. It is living. Shoot, as time goes on . . . when it gets to be the holidays, I like to back off on the dates. I like start getting close to home and hanging out around the house, 'cause . . . hey, that's living to me.

Only a Real Man Can Say This

There is a misconception [about me]. I'm a softie. I'm a pushover. I'm a wuss.

(Interview by Donna Hughes)

Aaron Tippin on the Web:Toby Keith

Aaron Tippin discography at Amazon.com

The Official Aaron Tippin Website

country.com -- Artists: Aaron Tippin

Aaron Tippin Is What This Country Needs

Richard De La Font Agency -- Aaron Tippin


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"I'm a softie. I'm a pushover. I'm a wuss."
-- Aaron Tippin


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Nov 25, 2000

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