Nichols has won the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award, the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Male Vocalist and County Music Television’s Breakthrough Music Video of the Year for No. 1 hits like “The Impossible” and “Brokenheartsville.”
With the next three albums—Revelation, III and Real Things—Nichols has secured a spot as a rock-solid traditionalist, mastering lighthearted swing, blues ballads and message songs.
Some of his more recent songs include “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” “What’s a Guy Gotta Do,” “I’ll Wait for You” or “If Nobody Believed in You.”
An Arkansas native, Nichols said he found his place by moving into the kind of music he loves, which is songs that draw on the traditional side.
“A lot of country music at the moment is real aggressive and hard,” he said. “I love that music, but it’s not what I do. I’ve found my niche by doing something outside of what everyone else is doing.”
Nichols said the tendency in country is to follow trends and pay close attention to what works for other artists.
If one artist sells five million albums, the tendency is for other artists to say, ‘Maybe I should do a little of that, too,’” he said. “That can be tough to resist, but something inside me tells me to stay true to who I am and to stay on my own path. I truly believe that, if I do that, there’s something different, something better, for me down the road.”