Hayden Nicholas

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James Hayden Nicholas (born 1957) is a country guitarist and songwriter.

Nicholas grew up in the Houston, Texas area, where he taught himself to play guitar at age nine. In the early 1980s, he was briefly member of the band Revolver, headlined by Tim McCrary, which played extensively in Texas. After a stint living in California, he returned to Texas, where, in 1987, he met then-struggling country singer Clint Black. At the time, Nicholas was a guitarist and songwriter with his own home studio. The two joined forces to write and record demo versions of songs that Black could use to land a recording deal. Their first collaboration, "Nobody's Home," did the trick, and in 1988 Black had his recording contract.

The partnership between the two has continued strongly ever since. Nicholas serves as Black's bandleader, plays lead guitar, and cowrites with Black and other most of the songs that are on Black's albums. Often the two would retreat to a cabin in the Colorado mountains to hide out and write songs for the next album. Over sixty of their collaborations have appeared on Black's albums, with 15 of them hitting Number One on one of the music charts.

Nicholas has been twice nominated for the CMA Song of the Year, in 1989 for "A Better Man" and in 1990 for "Killin' Time," both co-written with (and recorded by) Clint Black. He has also been nominated for several Grammy Awards, and has won over fifty songwriting awards, including three...
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