Regarded as one of country music's most adventurous artists, Dwight Yoakam combined the elements of rock, punk, honky-tonk and mainstream country, winning a wide fan base.
Playing the same nightclubs as the Dead Kennedys, Butthole Surfers and Los Lobos, Yoakam was a hit with the college crowd. His single "A Town South of Bakersfield" received heavy airplay on college and alternative radio stations. His debut album, 1986's "Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.," was an immediate success and went platinum.
"Hillbilly Deluxe," Yoakam's 1987 follow-up, was equally successful, with the tracks "Little Sister," "Little Ways," "Please, Please Baby" and "Always Late with Your Kisses" becoming Top 10 hits. His third album, 1988's "Buenos Noches from a Lonely Room," continued his streak of hits.
Although Yoakam continued to put out albums, his success leveled off until his rendition of Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" in 1999 became his biggest hit in years.
In 2012, Yoakam released "3 Pears," which peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard 200 album chart. In 2015, he released "Second Hand Heart." Over his career Yoakam has recorded more than 21 albums and compilations and sold more than 25 million records.
In 1993, Yoakam won a Grammy Award and was named Artist of the Year by CMT Europe. In 2007, the Country Music Association gave him the International Touring Artist award. Yoakam has starred in several films, including "Sling Blade," "Panic Room" and "Hollywood Homicide."
If there's one more thing that can be said of Yoakam, it's that none other than Johnny Cash cited Yoakam as his favorite singer on "Larry King Live."