Terri Clark performing at the Western Idaho Fair in Boise, Idaho on August 22, 2006
|Birth name||Terri Lynn Sauson|
|Born||August 5, 1968|
|Origin||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Labels||Mercury Nashville, BNA, BareTrack/Capitol Nashville/EMI Canada|
|Associated acts||Tom Shapiro|
|Website||Terri Clark Official Website|
Terri Lynn Sauson (born August 5, 1968 in Montreal, Quebec), known professionally as Terri Clark, is a Canadian country music artist who has had success in both Canada and the United States. Signed to Mercury Records in 1995, she released her self-titled debut that year. Both it and its two follow-ups, 1996's Just the Same and 1998's How I Feel, were certified platinum in both countries, and produced several Top Ten country hits.
Her fourth album, 2000's Fearless, though certified gold in Canada, was not as successful in the U.S., producing no Top 10 hits. Pain to Kill from 2003 restored her chart momentum in the U.S. with "I Just Wanna Be Mad" and "I Wanna Do It All", while a 2004 greatest hits album produced the Number One "Girls Lie Too". A non-album single, "The World Needs a Drink", and the 2005 album Life Goes On were her last releases for Mercury before she signed to BNA Records in 2007. There, she released the singles "Dirty Girl" and "In My Next Life". Although the latter went to Number One in Canada, she has not released an album for BNA.
Clark's albums have accounted for more than twenty singles, including six Number Ones. "If I Were You", "Poor Poor Pitiful Me", "Emotional Girl" and "In My Next Life" all topped the country charts in Canada, "Girls Lie Too" reached Number One only in the U.S., and "You're Easy on the Eyes" was a Number One in both countries.
Terri Clark was born on August 3, 1968 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Clark's family eventually settled in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she was raised. Clark's grandparents, Ray and Betty Gauthier, were both noted Canadian country musicians, having opened artists such as George Jones and Johnny Cash. Clark's mother, Linda, had belonged to the Canadian folk scene. Her parents divorced when she was young and her mother re-married. Clark's last name was taken from the man whom her mother had married.
By high school, Clark had grown to love country music and worked as rice grubber at a local Chinese restaurant to save money to move to Nashville, Tennessee. In 1987, after graduating high school at Crescent Heights High School in Medicine Hat, Alberta she moved from to Nashville, where she got her start playing at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, a honky-tonk bar across the alley from the Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. At the time country music executives were interested in traditional country at the moment, but record producer and singer Keith Stegall gave her advice to not give up. Then in 1994, Stegall became an executive at PolyGram/Mercury Records in Nashville and signed Clark to a record deal.
In 1995, Clark issued her first single, "Better Things to Do". The song managed to reach the top five in both the United States and Canada. Her debut album, Terri Clark, followed shortly after. Clark had a hand in writing or co-writing 11 of the album's 12 tracks. Terri Clark also featured the singles "When Boy Meets Girl", "If I Were You", and "Suddenly Single". "If I Were You" became Clark's first number one in Canada in June 1996. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA in the United States on April 5, 1996 and Platinum on July 29, 1997.
In 1996, Clark's second studio album, Just the Same, was issued following the album's first single, "Poor Poor Pitiful Me", a cover of the 1976 Warren Zevon song. The song and its second single, "Emotional Girl", reached number one in Canada with both songs reaching the top ten in the United States. During late 1996, Clark was awarded Single of the Year for "Better Things to Do" and Album of the Year for Terri Clark by the Canadian Country Music Association. By 1997 she would also be awarded the Fans' Choice Award, an award she would win six more times between 2001 and 2007, and Female Artist of the Year, and award she would also claim in 2004 and 2005.
In March 1998, Clark visited Calgary, Alberta, Canada to film her first television special, Terri Clark: Coming Home, which premiered March 27 on CBC in Canada. During the special Clark was visited by Canadian country singers Paul Brandt and George Fox.
Clark's third studio album, How I Feel, was issued in May 1998. The album's lead single, "Now That I Found You", reached the top five in both the United States and Canada. It was the album's second single, "You're Easy on the Eyes", that gave Clark's first American number one, the song also reached number one in Canada. "You're Easy on the Eyes" became a minor Top 40 hit, peaking at #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. To promote the new album, Clark was added as the opening act for Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn 1998 tour.
Fearless, Clark's fourth studio album, was issued in September 2000. During the album's production, Clark started writing more personal songs with a new team of co-writers and hired a new producer to deliver a set of songs with a more acoustic feel than her that of her previous work. The albums first single, "A Little Gasoline", was a late addition to the album because Mercury executives felt Clark needed to balance her new material with something that had a more familiar feel to it. The song reached the top ten in Canada, however, only reaching #13 in the United States.
On May 2, 2001, Clark was pulled over by police for speeding in Nashville. The officer, who pulled Clark over, had suspected that she had consumed alcohol and asked her to do sobriety test, after which Clark refused and was charged with a DUI and implied consent. Clark later apologized for the incident through a statement that was issued to press by her publicist. In August, Clark pleaded guilty pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless driving and was fined $350 plus court costs, placed on six months' supervised probation and ordered to take an alcohol education course.
After a management change in December 2001, Clark began work on her fifth studio album, Pain to Kill. The album was issued in January 2003, followed after the release of the album's first single, "I Just Wanna Be Mad". The song, written by Kelley Lovelace and Lee Thomas Miller, was initially intended to be recorded by Sara Evans, who passed on. When released as a single the song became Clark's highest charting single in the United States since 1998's "You're Easy on the Eyes" and is to date Clark's highest appearance on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #27. The album marked the first time Clark had worked with producer Byron Gallimore, who produced the first half of the album. The other half was produced by Clark's longtime producer Keith Stegall, who was brought in when Gallimore became unavailable.
In early 2004, Clark was approached by Playboy Magazine, to pose nude for the magazine's upcoming May issue. Clark, who came in second place behind fellow Canadian country singer Shania Twain in a poll in the previous year, turned down the offer saying "I think of all the young girls who come to my shows, I think of those faces, I think of my mother, and I worry about the signal [sex] sends to them[…]."
On May 15, 2004 during a performance of the Grand Ole Opry, Clark was surprised by Steve Wariner and her mother Linda with an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry. Clark was officially inducted on June 12, 2004 and is currently the only female Canadian member of the Grand Ole Opry. Shortly after her induction, Clark's first greatest hits album, Greatest Hits 1994–2004, was issued. The album's only single, "Girls Lie Too", became Clark's first number one in the United States since 1998's "You're Easy on the Eyes". While the song did not reach number one in Canada, it was the named number one country song of 2004 in Canada by Radio & Records. A non-album single, "The World Needs a Drink", was released in late 2004, but was not included on any of Clark's studio albums.
In 2005, Clark's sixth studio album, Life Goes On, was issued in November. The album's first single, "She Didn't Have Time", only managed to reach #25 in the United States and #15 in Canada. None of the album's other singles charted in the United States and Clark parted ways with Mercury Records in March 2006.
In June 2006, Clark signed with BNA Records, a division of Sony BMG label group, now known as Sony Music Entertainment. Clark's first single for the label, "Dirty Girl", was issued in early 2007. The song was then followed by "In My Next Life", which was to be the title track to her debut BNA release. Clark, along with Canadian country band Emerson Drive, opened for Big & Rich in Canada, hoping to promote the new album. My Next Life was delayed several times and Clark parted way with BNA in November 2008, so she could concentrate more on her career in Canada and possibly launch her own record label.
Clark released a live album, Terri Clark Live: Road Rage, via Clark's own BareTrack Records label in July 2009 through digital retailers. Clark's seventh studio album, The Long Way Home, was released shortly after to all retailers in Canada and digital retailers in the United States on September 1, 2009 via BareTrack/Capitol Nashville/EMI Canada. The album was released to non-digital retailers in the United States on October 20, 2009.
The first single issued from the album was "Gypsy Boots", a song previously recorded for Clark's unreleased My Next Life album. The single was released to country radio in Canada on June 22, 2009 and country radio in the United States on July 20. The video for "Gypsy Boots," directed by Margaret Malandruccolo, was released in Canada on August 6, 2009 and is available for online viewing at Clark's site. In August 2009, "If You Want Fire" was issued as the second Canadian single from the album.
Clark was previously married to fiddle player Ted Stevenson in 1991. The couple filed for divorce in 1996. Nine years later, Clark married her tour manager Greg Kaczor on September 17, 2005. The couple's wedding was documented on In the Moment, a TV series broadcast on CMT in December 2005. The couple filed for divorce on February 16, 2007.
In late 2007, Clark received news that her mother was diagnosed with cancer. The tumor has been removed and her mother is still recovering.