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Jon Pardi

During the heyday of bro-country in the 2010s, Jon Pardi carried the torch for hardcore country. He has never attempted to disguise his debt to traditional country, but he's never attempted to be an Americana singer, either. Pardi is firmly within the mainstream of country music and clever enough to offer sly updates to classic sounds, which is why his 2015 album California Sunrise turned him into a star on the strength of its number one country singles, "Head Over Boots" and "Dirt on My Boots." His 2019 follow-up, Heartache Medication, fared nearly as well, and his success spilled into the next decade, continuing with his 2022 album Mr. Saturday Night. Born and raised in Dixon, California, Jon Pardi fell in love with country music when he was a kid, aided by the presence of his grandmother's karaoke machine. He was drawn to hardcore singers from George Jones to George Strait, and he took a shine to singing, performing Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" at his dad's birthday party when he was merely seven. Pardi picked up a guitar shortly afterward, attempting his first songs when he was 12 and joining a band when he was 14. After graduating from high school, he formed a duo with his friend Chase McGrew. The pair played around their hometown, then headed to Chico, where they attended Butte Junior College while playing in a band called Northern Comfort. Pardi split from McGrew in 2008, moving to Nashville to attempt to break into the country music business. While working as a lifeguard, he hawked his songs, landing a publishing deal 18 months after his arrival. Pardi began placing songs and attracting attention as a performer.