When Steve Holy’s breakout smash, “Good Morning Beautiful,” stood atop the country charts for five straight weeks in 2002, it sparked a fire that has continued to smolder throughout his decade-long career. But it’s been a slow burn, and a testament to the dogged persistence and unyielding tenacity that Holy has displayed since his first big break in 1993, when he beat out 500 hopefuls in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Johnnie High Country Review, the same contest that launched the career of LeAnn Rimes. It was another four years, however, before he signed with Curb Records, and three years after that, his debut album, Blue Moon, was released in 2000.
Despite moderate success with a couple of top 20 singles, “Blue Moon” and “The Hunger,” it was not until more than a year after its release that the album first entered Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, and Holy was four singles deep when “Good Morning Beautiful” finally reached #1, a full 18 months after Blue Moon launched. The earnest, charming ballad struck a sweet spot with country fans, later being named Billboard’s #10 Top Country
Song of the Decade 1999-2009. Lightening did strike twice, but not until 2006, when
Holy again reached #1 with the playful “Brand New Girlfriend.” Of course, it didn’t happen overnight; it took 36 weeks to rise to the top of the charts, becoming at that time the slowest-rising #1 hit single in Nielsen Soundscan history.
Having patiently tended the fire all this time, Holy seeks to reignite the flame with his third album, Love Don’t Run, releasing in the fall of 2011. He has once again teamed up with producer Lee Miller, with whom he proved to have fantastic chemistry on the smash hit “Brand New Girlfriend.” A proven hit songwriter, Miller has penned three Grammy-nominated songs: “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins, Jamey Johnson’s “In Color,” and “The Impossible” by Joe Nichols – as well as #1 hit singles “The World” and “I’m Still A Guy” by Brad Paisley. Holy and Miller wrote several songs together for the upcoming album, including the racy, humorous “She Hauled Off And Kissed Me,” with pal Jim Collins, and the uplifting “Let The Sun Shine In,” demonstrating the diversity and range for which Holy has become known. “Having had hits like ‘Good Morning Beautiful’ to ‘Brand New Girlfriend’ that couldn’t be any more different, it’s a luxury to be able to go as far left as right,” Holy says.
While Love Don’t Run remains consistent with Holy’s overall pop country sound, it achieves a level of maturity that surpasses his first two albums, and veers slightly away from the 50’s and 60’s style that defined his earlier efforts. “When my friends were listening to current music in the 80’s and 90’s, I was listening to the 50’s 60’s, and more traditional stuff. You know what, I’m so current I might’ve moved into the 70’s by now,” he laughs. Holy edges into the 70’s with a superb cover of the Kristofferson classic “Help Me Make It Through The Night,” a song that, while most famous as a country number, has been covered by artists as diverse as Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Gladys Knight and The Pips. A point of intersection for many musical styles, it aptly symbolizes Steve Holy’s own mixed bag of musical influences: Charlie Rich, Conway Twitty, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Lionel Richie, and a variety of Doo-Wop bands.
For the past two years, Steve has taken time off to return to his hometown of Dallas and raise his two young daughters, Ava and Ella. “It was time for me to go home, be a dad, regroup, and come out when I felt like I was able to put my best foot forward musically,”
Holy says. That time has come, as Holy is once again touring relentlessly, dazzling audiences with his highly engaging live performances and climbing the charts with his top 20 single, “Love Don’t Run" from last year. If the third time is a charm, Holy is poised to cement his place among the stars once and for all. “I think part of what motivates me, what gives me drive, is that I’ve been so close throughout the years to breaking out and getting on a roll,” Holy says. “More than anything, I feel like I have a lot in the tank and I want to go as long as people want to hear me. And I think there are a lot of people that want to hear what we have coming next.”