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Jeff Bates

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  • Born: AL
  • Years Active: 2000s


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Jeff Bates was only 17 when he entered a honky tonk in his hometown of Bunker Hill, MS. He wasn't there for the smoking, drinking, or rabble-rousing; he was there to audition, hoping to land a show or two. The audience went wild for his voice -- a mix of Barry White, Elvis Presley, and Otis Redding -- and before he knew it, Bates was offered a six-nights-a-week gig. All signs pointed to Nashville, but before he would get there, Bates had to battle a crippling methamphetamine addiction that eventually landed him in jail. He experienced a spiritual awakening while locked up and emerged from jail not only clean and sober, but also driven and ambitious in a way he never was before. Moving to Nashville and doubling his work ethic, Bates caught the ear of the RCA label and landed a record deal in 2002. The label issued his debut, Rainbow Man, in 2003 and his sophomore effort, Good People, in 2005. He kicked off the promotional campaign for his 2006 release, Leave the Light On, by performing the album's single, "One Second Chance," live at the Grand Old Opry.


For the technologist and Slashdot co-founder, see Jeff Bates (technologist).For the Australian rules footballer, see Jeff Bates (footballer).

Jeffery Wayne "Jeff" Bates (born September 19, 1963) is an American country music artist. Signed to RCA Records in late 2002, Bates released his debut album Rainbow Man in May 2003. A second album, Leave the Light On, was released in 2005 on RCA. He left RCA in 2006. This album was followed by Jeff Bates in 2008 on the independent Black River Entertainment. Bates' two RCA albums accounted for seven chart singles on the Billboard country charts, of which three reached top 40: "The Love Song" (his highest, at No. 8), "I Wanna Make You Cry" at No. 23, and "Long, Slow Kisses" at No. 17.

^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 45. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 


Jeff Bates was born in Bunker Hill, Mississippi, a community in Marion County. He went to East Marion High School in Columbia.

^ Jeffries, David. "Jeff Bates biography". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 


Musical career1.1 Rainbow Man1.2 Leave the Light On1.3 Jeff Bates1.4 One Day Closer

Musical career[edit]

Rainbow Man[edit]

Before signing to a record contract, Bates co-wrote Tracy Lawrence's 2002 single "What a Memory". Bates signed to RCA Records Nashville in 2003, releasing his debut single, "The Love Song" in December 2002. Peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard country charts, it was the first of three singles from his debut album Rainbow Man, which also produced a No. 47 in its title track and a No. 23 in "I Wanna Make You Cry". Bates co-produced the album with David Malloy, Kenny Beard, and Scott Hendricks.

Leave the Light On[edit]

His fourth single, "Long, Slow Kisses", was a re-recording of a cut from his debut album. This re-recording was the third Top 40 hit of his career, peaking at No. 17 in 2005. It was also the first of four singles from his second album, Leave the Light On. However, none of the other three singles from this album — "Good People", "No Shame" and "One Second Chance" — reached Top 40, (However, "No Shame" did reach top 40 at No. 40 for Mediabase, which is used by Bob Kingsley's "Country Top 40" show), and Bates was dropped from RCA's roster.

Jeff Bates[edit]

He signed to Black River Entertainment in 2008 and released his self-titled third album. The album's first three singles were "Don't Hate Me for Lovin' You", "Riverbank", and "One Thing". In January 2009 he released his first Christmas single "That's What Christmas Is" with Jimmy Fortune of The Statler Brothers fame singing background vocals.

One Day Closer[edit]

Jeff's second and first EP for Black River, "One Day Closer" was released February 15, 2011.

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Personal life and charitable efforts[edit]

After signing a contract with Warner-Chappell Publishing, Bates developed a methamphetamine addiction in late 1999. To feed the drug habit, he sold everything he owned and then resorted to stealing, including a guitar from his friend Kenny Beard. On March 14, 2001, he was arrested for drug possession and grand theft. After rehabilitation and jail time, he was given a second chance and signed to RCA. The song "One Second Chance" was inspired by this part of his life.

In August 2006, a $3,500 guitar that was a gift to Bates from the Takamine guitar company and used in his video "One Second Chance" was stolen from Bates's garage. When Bates called the Nashville police, Det. Rick Mavity was sent to investigate. Mavity was the same officer involved in Bates's arrest in 2001. Mavity located the stolen guitar in a pawn shop and returned it to Bates.

Bates has been active in his works of compassion, collecting for organizations such as Toys for Tots and others. In 2005, a concert in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, raised $25,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief in his home area.

In May 2007, Bates married his girlfriend, Kelly Vaughn, in an outdoor ceremony. A year later, he signed to Black River Music Group and released his self-titled third album.

^ Dickinson, Chrissie (April 9, 2006). "One Second Chance cuts to the bone of Jeff bates story". One Second Chance cuts to the bone of Jeff Bates story (Chicago Tribune). Retrieved 3 February 2012. ^ "Jeff Bates Recovers Stolen Guitar". Great American Country. August 15, 2006. Retrieved 3 February 2012. ^ "Jeff Bates Pops the Question". Jeff Bates Pops the Question. Great American Country Headlines. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
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