Raised on Rock 'n' Roll:
Brush With Death:
In 2004 at age 19, Gilbert had a car accident while intoxicated. The accident nearly killed him even though he escaped without a scratch, according to the singer. After that time, he said, he decided to devote himself to his music and writing songs.
The incident later inspired Gilbert's song "Halfway to Heaven" off the album of the same name.
Teaming Up With Jason Aldean:
After moving to Nashville, Gilbert became acquainted with Jason Aldean. The singer ended up recording Gilbert's "Dirt Road Anthem," which had been previously recorded and released by Colt Ford. Aldean's version of the track showed up on his blockbuster album "My Kinda Party," and became one of the record's flagship singles.
In 2009, Gilbert released his debut album Modern Day Prodigal Son, which topped out at #58 on the country music charts. He recorded it and self-released it before it was picked up by Big Joe Entertainment.
No. 1 with "Country Must Be Country Wide":
In 2010, Gilbert released Halfway to Heaven which made a slow build, eventually reaching #2 on the country album charts. The record yielded Gilbert's first #1 country single, "Country Must Be Country Wide." But it didn't come easy. At the first single was largely ignored on commercial country radio, but picked up plenty of momentum online: selling over 160,000 downloads.
"I wrote it with Colt Ford and Mike Dekle, and we had just got done touring," Gilbert told USA Today in 2011. "We had gone a little more north and northwest than we'd ever gone before, and we just started to notice that even people up North were a lot like us -- that there were some country people up North, too, and they needed a little bit of country credit."
In December 2011, he released the album's second single, "You Don't Know Her Like I Do."