Josh Kear
Kear in 2018
Kear in 2018
Background information
Years active1996–present

Josh Kear is a multi-Grammy Award winning songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee.[1]

In 2007, Kear co-wrote Carrie Underwood's hit "Before He Cheats" with Chris Tompkins.[2] The song dominated the US Hot Country Songs chart for five weeks and earned a Grammy Award for Country Song of the Year.[3][4] The song is one of the longest-charting hits in Billboard history, and was the third longest-running hit of the 2000s decade.[5][6]

In 2011, Kear co-wrote "Need You Now" with Lady Antebellum.[7] The track held the top position on the country chart for five weeks and remained at number one on the adult contemporary chart for 14 weeks.[8] The song received two Grammy Awards in 2011, achieving recognition as both Country Song of the Year and Overall Song of the Year.[9] "Need You Now" was also awarded the ASCAP Global Impact Award.[10]

In 2013, Kear received his third Grammy Award for Country Song of the Year with "Blown Away" which he co-wrote with Chris Tompkins.[11][9] He made history as the first songwriter to secure the Country Song of The Year Grammy on three separate occasions.[9][12] In the same year, he received the title of ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year at the 51st annual ASCAP Country Music Awards.[13][14]

Kear has been credited for numerous chart-topping songs in the country music genre. Among his notable works, Lee Brice's "Drinking Class" was the most played country song on the Billboard Country Airplay chart in 2015.[15] He also penned Luke Bryan's "Most People Are Good," which held the number one spot on the same chart for three consecutive weeks,[16][17] as well as Dierks Bentley's "Woman, Amen"[18] and Runaway June's "Buy My Own Drinks."[19] Additionally, Kear has written or co-written several other number one songs, such as Florida Georgia Line's "God, Your Mama and Me,"[20] Tim McGraw's "Highway Don't Care,"[21] Dierks Bentley's "Drunk on a Plane,"[22] Blake Shelton's "Neon Light,"[23] Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away,"[3] Frankie Ballard's "Helluva Life,"[24] and Luke Bryan's "Drunk On You."[17]

His recent singles include "Ghost Story" by Carrie Underwood,[25] "No Body" by Blake Shelton,[26] and "Watermelon Moonshine" by Lainey Wilson.[27]

Kear has received over twenty ASCAP country airplay awards, two ASCAP pop airplay awards, and three ASCAP country Song of the Year awards for "Before He Cheats",[28] "Need You Now"[29] and "Drunk On You".[14][12]

Kear is an advocate for songwriter's rights. He has appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, together with Smokey Robinson, advocating for American songwriters and aiding in the passage of the Music Modernization Act.[7] In 2014, he participated in a performance for the Library of Congress as part of ASCAP's "We Write The Songs" series, joining the likes of Randy Newman, Carly Simon and Heart.[30] Additionally, Kear co-created the theme song for ASCAP's 100th Anniversary, "More Than The Stars", in collaboration with various songwriters including Ne-Yo, Dan Wilson, Stargate, and Bill Withers.[31]

In June 2020, Josh Kear entered into a global publishing agreement with Sony/ATV Publishing.[12]

Selected artists who have recorded Josh Kear's songs


  1. ^ "Josh Kear Joins Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville (Exclusive)". MusicRow. 2020-06-29. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  2. ^ "SWEET & SOUR NOTES; Local Grammy voters find things to like -- and dislike -- in this year's crop of nominees; Carrie Underwood". Post-Tribune. ProQuest 344141083.
  3. ^ a b "Carrie Underwood". Billboard.
  4. ^ "50th Annual Grammy Awards".
  5. ^ "Chart Beat". Billboard.
  6. ^ "Fred and his readers discuss Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats," ringles, Reba McEntire and more". Billboard.
  7. ^ a b Collins, Michael. "Songwriters, music executives urge Congress to pass first music copyright reform in decades". The Tennessean.
  8. ^ "Lady A". Billboard.
  9. ^ a b c "Artists. Josh Kear". Grammy. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  10. ^ Roland, Tom (November 7, 2011). "Brad Paisley, Ben Hayslip, Allen Shamblin Win Big at ASCAP Country Music Awards". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Underwood, Kear and Tompkins Celebrate No. 1 "Blown Away"". January 17, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d "Sony/ATV Nashville signs Grammy-winning songwriter Josh Kear to worldwide publishing deal". Music Business Worldwide. June 29, 2020.
  13. ^ "Josh Kear: Top ASCAP Country Writer". Music Connection. May 30, 2014.
  14. ^ a b Billboard Staff (November 5, 2013). "George Strait, Josh Kear, Warner/Chappell Among ASCAP Country Music Award Honorees". Billboard.
  15. ^ "Lee Brice". Billboard.
  16. ^ Whitaker, Sterling (27 March 2018). "Luke Bryan Scores 20th No. 1 Single With 'Most People Are Good'". Taste of Country.
  17. ^ a b "Luke Bryan". Billboard.
  18. ^ Hudak, Joseph (February 14, 2018). "Dierks Bentley on the Changing Way Women Are Depicted in Country Songs". Rolling Stone.
  19. ^ Paulson, Dave. "Story Behind the Song: Runaway June's 'Buy My Own Drinks'". The Tennessean.
  20. ^ a b "Florida Georgia Line". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Tim McGraw". Billboard.
  22. ^ "Dierks Bentley". Billboard.
  23. ^ "Blake Shelton". Billboard.
  24. ^ "Frankie Ballard". Billboard.
  25. ^ Freeman, Jon (March 18, 2022). "Carrie Underwood Exacts Mental Revenge in New Song 'Ghost Story'". Rolling Stone.
  26. ^ Nicholson, Jessica (August 19, 2022). "Blake Shelton Brings '90s Vibe to 'No Body': Stream It Now". Billboard.
  27. ^ Freeman, Jon (August 12, 2022). "Lainey Wilson Writes Her Version of 'Strawberry Wine' With Nostalgic New Song 'Watermelon Moonshine'". Rolling Stone.
  28. ^ "Wiseman, Rich Tops At ASCAP Country Awards". Billboard. October 15, 2007.
  29. ^ "ASCAP Country Music Awards Honors Dierks Bentley, Brett James, Alan Jackson". American Songwriter. September 15, 2010.
  30. ^ "Songwriters Jam at Library of Congress". Roll Call. May 7, 2014.
  31. ^ "ASCAP 100th Birthday Song/Video Features Grant, Kelley, Haywood, Kear". MusicRow. December 18, 2013.
  32. ^ "A Great Big World Best Songs List: Top, New, & Old". AllMusic.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av "Josh Kear | Credits". AllMusic.
  34. ^ "Danielle Bradbery Best Songs List: Top, New, & Old". AllMusic.
  35. ^ a b "Songwriter Josh Kear Shares His Inspiration For Living Life". HuffPost. February 23, 2011.
  36. ^ Roden, Ally (August 19, 2021). "Did You Know Carrie Underwood's 'Before He Cheats' Was Originally Written For Gretchen Wilson?". Country Now.
  37. ^ Torrento, Jaclyn (January 8, 2020). "Josh Kear". Nashville Songwriters Association International.
  38. ^ Houghton, Cillea (January 29, 2023). "3 Songs You Didn't Know Kelsea Ballerini Wrote for Other Artists". American Songwriter.
  39. ^ Rau, Nate. "Nashville publisher Big Yellow Dog finds success inside and outside the mainstream". The Tennessean.
  40. ^ "Mitchell Tenpenny Opens Up About The Writing And Recording Process Behind New Album, "This Is The Heavy"". CMT.