By Brianne Galli After an already successful 20-year career in the music business, 2012 is proving to be yet another landmark for award-winning producer and peermusic Senior Creative Director Michael Knox. He has already racked up three Grammy and three Academy of Country Music Awards nominations, in addition to the two Country Music Association Awards nominations he earned in 2011, top album honors and Billboard praise.
Last year’s CMA awards show is where Knox’s recent string of recognition really got started. He and country artist Jason Aldean were honored with the Album of the Year Award for Aldean’s My Kinda Party, which Knox produced. His work on that particular album has carried over into the 2012 awards season, with Knox finding his name listed alongside categories like Record of the Year, Vocal Event of the Year and Best Country Album, to name a few. Adding to his accolades, Knox also moved from #3 to #2 on Billboard’s list of Top Music Producers.
ASCAP recently celebrated the hard-working team behind Aldean’s #1 hit “Tattoos on this Town” at Nashville hot spot Bound’ry. Written by fellow ASCAP member Neil Thrasher, co-writers Wendell Mobley and Michael Dulaney, and produced by Knox, the tune marked Aldean’s eighth trip to the top of the charts.
Knox’s 13-year collaboration with Aldean began during his days at Warner/Chappell, where he signed the young artist among many others, including John Rich and Gretchen Wilson. His work expanded from there, producing hits for Josh Thompson, Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins and more, garnering more than 300 cuts in an eight year span. Though he often works with country artists, Knox has also diversified his career by producing crossover collaborations. My Kinda Party features rapper Ludacris with Aldean on “Dirt Road Anthem” and pop star Kelly Clarkson on “Don’t You Wanna Stay.”
His success comes as no surprise, as Knox was raised in a thoroughly musical setting. Buddy Knox, Michael’s father, worked with artists in an “old school” environment in which the producers were present through each step of the recording process. Knox carried on his father’s way of doing business in his own productions, and the results have certainly paid off. He has come to be known, in Nashville and beyond, as a producer that brings out the real, raw talent within an artist, rather than transforming them into something different.
The 54th Annual Grammy Awards will air on Sunday, February 12 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS, where Knox and other ASCAP members will vie for some of the industry’s highest honors.