Dwight Yoakam Biography

Dwight David Yoakam is a renowned American singer, songwriter, actor, and musician. With over twenty-one albums under his belt, he has established himself as one of America’s finest country singers. Born and raised in Pikeville, Kentucky, Yoakam displayed his talents in singing and drama from a young age, participating in school plays and playing music for local garage bands. Not only has he achieved success in the music industry, but he has also made a name for himself in the film industry, appearing in successful films such as ‘Sling Blade’ and ‘Logan Lucky’. Despite facing commercial failures, Yoakam’s talent and dedication have earned him multiple Grammy nominations, of which he has won two. His first Grammy Award was for his hit single ‘Ain’t That Lonely Yet’ from his album ‘This Time’. With a versatile career spanning across music and acting, Dwight David Yoakam continues to captivate audiences with his exceptional talent.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Dwight David Yoakam
  • Age: 67 Years, 67 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Father: David Yoakam
    • Mother: Ruth Ann Yoakam
    • Siblings: Kimberly Yoakam, Ronald Yoakam
  • Musicians
  • Country Singers
  • Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), 6’0″ Males
  • U.S. State: Kentucky
  • Education: Ohio State University

Childhood & Early Life

Dwight David Yoakam was born in Pikeville, Kentucky in the US on October 23, 1956. His parents were David Yoakam and Ruth Ann. He did his schooling from Northland High School, from where he graduated in 1974.

He had an interest in music and drama from a very early age. He used to act in school plays, mostly in lead roles. He also sang and played guitar with local garage bands. He used to entertain his friends, with his impersonations of Richard Nixon, who at the time was in controversy because of the Watergate Scandal.

He briefly attended Ohio State University, but later dropped out and moved to Los Angeles in order to pursue a career as a recording artist.

Musical Career

Dwight Yoakam had to move to Los Angeles as his songs didn’t do too well in his hometown. In 1986, he released his debut studio album ‘Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.’ The album was a hit, with three of its songs standing on the Top 40 of the Hot Country Singles chart of the year.

Over the next few years, his popularity grew with the release of his second album ‘Hillbilly Deluxe’ and third album ‘Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room’. His work earned him appreciation from reputed singers such as Johnny Cash as well as from media publications such as the ‘Time Magazine.’

His fourth studio album ‘If There Was a Way’ and fifth studio album ‘This Time’ were released in 1990 and 1993 respectively. His song ‘Ain’t That Lonely Yet’ from his fifth album was a huge hit, and peaked at second position on the on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks. It also won Yoakam the ‘Grammy Award’ for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.

Over the next few years, his popularity continued to grow with the release of albums including ‘A Long Way Home’ (1998), ‘Tomorrow’s Sounds Today’ (2000), ‘South of Heaven, West of Hell (soundtrack)’ (2001) and ‘Blame the Vain’ (2005). In 2007, he released ‘Dwight Sings Buck’, which was a tribute to American musician and singer ‘Buck Owens’.

Some of his more recent works include ‘3 Pears’ (2012) and ‘Second Hand Heart’ (2015). ‘3 Pears’ peaked at the 18th position on the US Billboard 200, and sold 19,000 copies in its first week. The song ‘A Heart like Mine’, from the album was named the 39th best song of 2012 by Rolling Stone. ‘Second Hand Heart’, also performed well, peaking at 18th position on the US Billboard 200. It sold 21,000 copies in the first week.

Acting Career

Dwight Yoakam made his film debut playing a minor role of a truck driver in the 1992 film ‘Red Rock West’. His first important role was in the 1996 American drama film ‘Sling Blade’. The film was a huge commercial success and also won an Oscar.

He worked as the lead actor, director as well as a co-writer of the film ‘South of Heaven, West of Hell’, which released in the year 2001. His other films include ‘The Newton Boys’ (1998), ‘The Minus Man’ (1999), ‘Hollywood Homicide’ (2003) and ‘Wedding Crashers’ (2005).

He has also appeared in TV movies such as ‘Don’t Look Back’ (1996) and ‘When Trumpets Fade’ (1998). Yoakam’s latest role in TV is in the series ‘Goliath’, which has been airing from 2016.

His most recent works on the big screen include his role in ’90 Minutes in Heaven’, a 2015 Christian drama film where he played a supporting role. The film was a commercial failure and was met with negative reviews. He played a supporting role in the 2017 American heist comedy film ‘Logan Lucky’. The film was met with positive reviews and it was also a commercial success.

Major Works

‘This Time’, Dwight Yoakam’s fifth studio album is one of his most significant works. The album peaked at number 25 on the US Billboard 200. The single ‘Ain’t That Lonely Yet’, won the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Other singles in the album include ‘Pocket of Clowns’, ‘Fast As You’, and ‘Wild Ride’.

The movie ‘Sling Blade’, written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, was a 1996 American drama film in which Yoakam played the lead role. The story revolved around a person named Karl and his emotional state after he is released from a psychiatric hospital where he had stayed since he killed his mother at the age of twelve. The film also starred actors such as J.T. Walsh, John Ritter and Lucas Black. The film was a huge commercial success, and won several awards including an Oscar.

Yoakam played a supporting role in the 2002 American thriller film ‘Panic Room’, which was directed by David Fincher. The story revolved around a mother and daughter whose new home is invaded by burglars. Other actors who starred in the film include Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker and Jared Leto. The film was a commercial success, grossing more than four times its budget.

‘Logan Lucky’, a 2017 American heist comedy film, is Yoakam’s most recent work on the big screen. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the film revolved around an unlucky Logan family and their plan to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The film was a commercial success, and was met with mostly positive reviews.

Awards & Achievements

Dwight Yoakam has been nominated for the Grammys multiple times throughout his career, out of which he has won two. He won his first Grammy in 1994 for ‘Best Country Vocal Performance’, for his song ‘Ain’t That Lonely Yet’. He won his second Grammy for ‘Best Country with Vocals’ in 1999.

Other awards won by him include the ‘Academy of Country Music Award’ in 1986 and the ‘CMT Europe Artist of the Year Award’ in 1993.

In 2005, he was awarded with an honorary doctorate by the Ohio Valley University.

Personal Life

Dwight Yoakam has never been married. Though he is currently known to be single, he had been previously linked to celebrities such as Wynonna Judd, Sharon Stone, Bridget Fonda, and Karen Duffy.

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