After spending his teenage years in Arkansas honky-tonks perfecting his traditional twang, Tracy Lawrence moved to Nashville after college to pursue a music career. In 1991, he was signed to Atlantic Records on the strength of his performance in a talent contest. Shortly before his debut was to be released, Lawrence and his girlfriend were mugged and Lawrence was shot four times. The label held the release while the singer underwent physical therapy, and later that year Sticks and Stones was released to rave reviews. The title track was his first No. 1, and Lawrence kept pace with that marker throughout the 1990s, collecting a number of awards along the way. In the late '90s, Lawrence married, was convicted of spousal battery, and divorced. He returned to music in 2000 with the introspective effort Lessons Learned. Atlantic Records closed the door on their partnership after that release, but Lawrence was scooped up by Warner Bros. shortly after. His self-titled effort didn't measure up to past efforts, nor did 2004's effort, Strong. For the Love arrived in 2007 and the following year, Lawrence released the wry single, "You Can't Hide Redneck."