(Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
Currently the 27-year-old country artist from Rogers, Ark., is traveling across the United States performing at various county fairs and outdoor concerts.
"We're working our tails off, and we're going around promoting our new album, Revelation," explained Nichols during a phone interview last week.
Earlier this month Nichols made appearances on "The View" and "On-Air with Ryan Seacrest," not to mention lighting up the small screen through his music videos on CMT: Country Music Television. He's scheduled to appear on ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" on Aug. 9.
But area residents will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Nichols Aug. 11, when he performs at the 52nd Annual Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo.
Released last month, Revelation, which is No. 11 on Billboard's Top Country Albums, is something Nichols said is a little more deeper and more worldly than his debut album, Man With A Memory.
"I think it's more spiritual and more emotional than the first album," Nichols said. "It's something I'm very proud of and it's very personal to me."
Man With A Memory, is currently on its way to platinum certification for sales in excess of 1 million units. Nichols' first two singles, "The Impossible" and "Brokenheartsville," became multi-week No. 1 hits.
Nichols' single, "If Nobody Believed in You," which is from his Revelation album, is currently No. 20 on Billboard's Hot Country Music Singles and Tracks as well as No. 19 on CMT's Top 20 Videos.
Fans who come to see Nichols at the Sikeston Rodeo can expect to hear a lot of both from his new and first album. Plus Nichols said he's going to throw in some of his old favorites like Merle Haggard.
And those who see Nichols perform at the Rodeo can expect to do a little dancing and have a lot of a fun.
"I think that we always have fun on the stage and it's up to the fans to have fun with us and dig what we're doing," Nichols said. "We like traditional country music, and we try to put it out there for the fans."
Nichols moved to Nashville, Tenn., when he was 20 and began singing at a local eatery called Rippy's. Nichols struggled for a few years, and came close to giving up when his best friend and current guitar player, Brian Spradlin introduced him to Brent Rowan, celebrated Nashville session guitarist and aspiring producer. Their collaboration eventually led them to Tony Brown and Tim DuBois, two of Music Row's most influential executives who were in the process of forming a joint venture label with Universal. So impressed were Brown and DuBois that Man With A Memory became Universal South's first release. And the rest is history.
Nichols said he still visits his old roots, where he got his start, and even bumps into aspiring musicians like he once was.
"There's all kinds of folks I'm friends with today and who are trying to make it up the ladder," Nichols said. "I can't say there's any specific formula (to gain success), but there's a lot of young guys out there and they're trying to make it."
Nichols was nominated for four Grammy Awards for his own on Man With A Memory, including Best Country Male Vocal Performance (two consecutive years) and Best Country Album. In 2003, he won the coveted Horizon Award from the Country Music Association, completing a triple crown of trophies -- Nichols was also named Top New Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music and won the Breakthrough Video of the Year Award from CMT: Country Music Television.
Next on Nichols itinerary is a Christmas album due out late September or early October. "And it's a really good one," he said.
Although Nichols admitted he's not familiar with the Sikeston Jaycees Bootheel Rodeo, he has heard of Sikeston, and he's ready to put on a big show for his fans.
Nichols said: "I hope everybody likes traditional country, and I hope they're ready to kick up some cowboy fun."
Tickets are still available for Nichols' performance which will be opened by Emerson Drive. For more information, contact the Jaycee Rodeo Ticket Office at (573) 471-7196.