Biography

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1986, Ben Rector studied piano while he was growing up and, by his teens, he was also singing, playing guitar, and writing his own music. However, it wasn't until he studied at the University of Arkansas that he began recording his songs. A self-titled EP that Rector released during his freshman year at college caught on locally, and soon he was playing live shows.

By the time he graduated in 2009, he'd released two full-length albums, 2007's Twenty Tomorrow and 2008's Songs That Duke Wrote. After college, Rector relocated to Nashville to pursue a career as both a songwriter and performer. In 2010, he released his third studio album, Into the Morning, which reached the number 11 spot on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Also around this time, he began nabbing support slots for such established acts as Five for Fighting and Dave Barnes. In 2011, he returned with Something Like This, which also received positive attention (especially for an independent release) and climbed to number 41 on the album chart. In 2013, Rector released his fifth studio album, The Walking in Between, and easily cracked the Top 40. The concert album Live in Denver appeared in 2014.

In 2016, Rector returned with Brand New, which debuted in the Top Ten of the Billboard 200 and topped the folk chart, due in large part to the success of the hook-driven title track. Magic, Rector's seventh studio effort, followed in 2018 and made another strong chart showing, becoming his second consecutive album to reach number one on Billboard's Folk Albums chart. Reworking three songs from Magic into alternate versions, Rector issued the MPLS Magic EP in January 2019. Following 2020's holiday-themed A Ben Rector Christmas, he returned with 2022's The Joy of Music, the latter of which featured guest appearances by Snoop Dogg, Kenny G, Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith, and others.

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