Josh Kear

Josh Kear
Origin Jonesborough, Tennessee, United States
Occupation(s) Songwriter
Years active 1996-Present
Associated acts

Josh Kear is a Nashville-based songwriter who has become known as one of the country genre’s most consistent hit makers. He has spent nearly thirteen years writing for independent powerhouse Big Yellow Dog Music.

In 2007, he had his breakthrough number one song with Carrie Underwood’s massive hit “Before He Cheats” which spent five weeks at the top of the charts. Josh recently celebrated his 11th number one song "Drinking Class” by country star Lee Brice, , which was the most played country song of 2015 according to the Billboard country airplay chart.

Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum might be considered the signature song of Josh’s career so far. “Need You Now” spent five weeks at number one on the country chart and 14 weeks at number one on the adult contemporary chart. The song went on to earn Josh two of his four Grammy Awards, winning for both Country Song of the Year and Overall Song of the Year in 2011. Josh also won Grammy Awards for Country Song Of The Year for “Before He Cheats” and “Blown Away”. Josh remains the only country songwriter to win Country Song Of The Year Grammy three times.

Other number one songs include “Highway Don't Care” by Tim McGraw (featuring Taylor Swift and Keith Urban), "Drunk on a Plane” by Dierks Bentley, "Neon Light” by Blake Shelton, both “Blown Away” and "Two Black Cadillacs” by Carrie Underwood, “Helluva Life” by Frankie Ballard and “Drunk On You” by Luke Bryan.

Other notable hits include “(Kissed You) Good Night and “Wild At Heart” by Gloriana, “Dancin' Away with My Heart” and “Goodbye Town” by Lady Antebellum, and “Redneck Crazy” by Tyler Farr.

Josh has received 14 ASCAP country airplay awards, 2 ASCAP pop airplay awards, and three ASCAP country Song of the Year awards for “Before He Cheats”, “Need You Now” and “Drunk On You”. In 2013 he also took home the coveted award for Country Songwriter of the Year.

Josh has been an advocate for songwriter’s rights now for several years. He has made multiple trips to Washington D.C. to lobby congress on behalf of all songwriters. He also performed for the Library Of Congress in 2014 as part of ASCAP’s “We Write The Songs” series along with Randy Newman, Carly Simon and Heart. Josh also helped write the theme song for ASCAP’s 100th Anniversary, “More Than The Stars” collaborating with such diverse writers as Ne-Yo, Dan Wilson, Stargate, Bill Withers and others.[1]

Selected songwriting credits

Year Artist Album Song Co-Writers
2005 Carrie Underwood Some Hearts "Before He Cheats" Chris Tompkins
2006 Jimmy Buffett Take the Weather with You "Bama Breeze" Mark Irwin, Chris Tompkins
Hank Williams Jr. "That's How They Do It In Dixie" Mark Irwin, Chris Tompkins
2009 Gloriana Gloriana "Wild at Heart" Stephanie Bentley, Matt Serletic
Martina McBride Shine "Don't Cost A Dime" Mark Irwin, Chris Tompkins
"Wild Rebel Rose" Mark Irwin
Carrie Underwood Play On "Change" Chris Tompkins, Katrina Elam
Chris Young The Man I Want to Be "It Takes A Man" Ed Hill, David Frasier
2010 Gary Allan Get Off on the Pain' "Kiss Me When I'm Down" Chris Tompkins, Andrew Dorff
Lady Antebellum Need You Now "Need You Now" Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood
2011 Susan Boyle Someone to Watch Over Me "This Will Be The Year" Shahid Kahn, Adele Emily Sandre
Gloriana A Thousand Miles Left Behind "(Kissed You) Good Night" Tom Gossin
"Turn My World Around" Mike Gossin, Matt Serletic
Eli Young Band Life at Best "Every Other Memory" Catt Gravitt, Chris DeStefano
Lady Antebellum Own the Night "Dancin' Away with My Heart" Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood
Martina McBride Eleven' "Broken Umbrella" Mark Irwin, Chris Tompkins
"Long Distance Lullaby" Martina McBride, Irwin
2012 Luke Bryan Tailgates & Tanlines "Drunk on You" Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins
Carrie Underwood Blown Away "Blown Away" Chris Tompkins
"Two Black Cadillacs" Carrie Underwood, Hillary Lindsey
"Cupid's Got A Shotgun" Carrie Underwood, Chris Tompkins
"One Way Ticket" Carrie Underwood, Luke Laird
2013 Frankie Ballard Sunshine & Whiskey "Helluva Life" Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins
Tyler Farr Redneck Crazy "Redneck Crazy" Chris Tompkins, Mark Irwin
Lady Antebellum Golden "Can't Stand The Rain" Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood
"Goodbye Town"
Tim McGraw Two Lanes of Freedom "Tinted Windows" Mark Irwin, Andrew Dorff
"Friend Of A Friend" Mark Irwin, Andrew Dorff
"Highway Don't Care" (feat. Taylor Swift & Keith Urban) Mark Irwin, Brad Warren, Brett Warren
Thomas Rhett It Goes Like This "Front Porch Junkies" Thomas Rhett, Mark Irwin, Brett Warren, Brad Warren
Darius Rucker True Believers "True Believers" Darius Rucker
"I Will Love You Still"
2014 Dierks Bentley Riser "Drunk on a Plane" Dierks Bentley, Chris Tompkins
Boyzone BZ20 "Light Up the Night" Ed Hill
Lee Brice I Don't Dance "Drinking Class" Ed Hill, David Frasier
"Panama City" Mark Irwin, Chris Tompkins
Florida Georgia Line Anything Goes "Smoke" Chris Tompkins
Andy Grammer Magazines or Novels "Red Eye" Andy Grammer, Abram Dean, Mason Levy, Tommy Meredith, James Abrahart, Josiah Rosen
Lady Antebellum 747 "Long Stretch of Love" Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood
"One Great Mystery"
Blake Shelton Bringing Back the Sunshine "Neon Light" Andrew Dorff, Mark Irwin
Labrinth Take Me to the Truth "Jealous" Labrinth, Natalie Hemby
2015 A Great Big World When the Morning Comes "One Step Ahead" Ian Axel, Chad Vaccarino (A Great Big World)
"Where Does The Time Go"
2016 Keith Urban Ripcord "Worry 'Bout Nothin Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins


Award Song Nominated/Won Category
Grammy Before He Cheats Nominated Song of the Year
Grammy Before He Cheats Won Country Song of the Year
Grammy Need You Now Won Song of the Year
Grammy Need You Now Won Country Song of the Year
Grammy Blown Away Won Country Song of the Year
Academy of Country Music N/A Nominated Songwriter of the Year
Academy of Country Music Before He Cheats Nominated Song of the Year
Academy of Country Music Need You Now Won Song of the Year
Country Music Association Before He Cheats Nominated Song of the Year
Country Music Association Need You Now Nominated Song of the Year
ASCAP Awards - Country Before He Cheats Won Song of the Year
ASCAP Awards - Country Need You Now Won Song of the Year
World Music Awards Blown Away Pending World's Best Song
ASCAP Music Awards N/A Won Writer of the Year
ASCAP Music Awards Drunk on You Won Song of the Year
British Country Music Awards Highway Don't Care Won International Song of the Year

External links


  1. "Josh Kear: Biography". Big Yellow Dog Music. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
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