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Chad Brownlee: From the Hockey Rink to the Concert Stage

By: Radhika Lakhani (@RadhikaLakhani)

June 2nd, 2016

Kelowna, British Columbia’s Chad Brownlee is a man of many talents. If the name sounds familiar, you may recognize it because he was a former pro hockey player and a sixth round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks.

His gift for songwriting became evident during his fourth year at Minnesota State University, when he was nominated for the NCAA Hockey Humanitarian Award for his song “The Hero I See”. The song helped raise thousands of dollars for the Anthony Ford Foundation, which funds pediatric cancer research and provides financial assistance to youth hockey players.

It proved to be a personal turning point for Brownlee. In 2007, he made his pro debut with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, but following a string of injuries, discovered that he no longer felt the same passion for the game. As a result, Brownlee turned his attention to music - a decision that has proven to be rewarding.

His first single, “The Best That I Can”, made it to the Top 20 on Canadian country radio. Shortly afterwards, Brownlee released his first self-titled debut album in 2010, and it earned him a Rising Star Award at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards the following year. Since then, he has slowly been making a name for himself in the country music industry. 

Chad Brownlee playing guitar

Photo Credit: Facebook (Chad Brownlee Music)

His songs display a wide range of emotion, and listeners are treated to everything from the feel-good to the heartfelt. Brownlee’s accolades include two CCMA nominations for Male Artist of the Year and a 2013 JUNO Award nomination for Country Album of the Year. Brownlee boasts several songs that have cracked the Top 10 such as “Smoke in the Rain”, “Listen” and his current single, “Hearts on Fire”.     

In 2012, Brownlee embarked on a tour as the opening act for country superstar Dierks Bentley. It wasn’t until 2015 that he had the opportunity to headline the When the Lights Go Down Tour, his first Canadian headlining tour. A fan favourite on the tour was his cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”, one that was released as a single on Canadian airwaves due to overwhelming public demand.

Despite Brownlee’s recent success, Don Cherry might still refer to him as a “Good Canada kid,” as philanthropy continues to remain a top priority for the 31-year-old. He partners annually with the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation and leads music workshops across the country, sharing the joy of music with young campers.

Chad Brownlee at music festival

Source: Facebook (Chad Brownlee Music)

Brownlee has several shows lined up across the country this summer, including two stops in Ontario. Even if you’re not a fan of country music, his storytelling through his music will resonate with all music fans. For more information and tour dates, visit his official website here.