12 Things You Didn’t Know About Country Singer Brett Kissel
This year the iHeartRadio MMVAs are going a little bit country as singer-songwriter Brett Kissel will take the stage to make his debut performance.
As one of the fastest rising stars in country music, Kissel has earned an impressive number of Canadian Country Music Association Awards, the Allan Slaight Honour from Canada’s Walk of Fame, and a JUNO Award at just 28 years old. But next to his musical achievements, you might not know a whole lot about the soon to be seasoned iHeartRadio MMVAs performer. Here are some things you probably didn’t know about Brett Kissel.
He got his first guitar at the age of six.
When Kissel was six-year-old, he received his first guitar from his grandmother Irene who bought it for him from the Sears Christmas catalogue. For the next year, Kissel took lessons in is hometown practising riffs in his spare time. Yet guitar must have come easy to him because he never took formal lessons again. It’s safe to say this country star is a natural talent.
He released his first album at the age of 12.
Since he was playing guitar at such an early age, it comes as no surprise that Kissel dropped his debut album Keepin’ It Country as an independent artist at the age of 12. Kissel went on to release three additional independent albums before signing a record deal with Warner Music Canada in May 2013.
He’s from Alberta and grew up on a cattle ranch.
Kissel is a fifth generation Albertan who was born and raised in the northeastern small town of Flat Lake, Alberta. His parents own a cattle ranch where Kissel grew up called the Wengzynowski North View Ranch after Kissel’s great, great grandparents. The rising country star previously told CBC’s Rick Mercer that growing up on a cattle ranch played a major role in shaping his sound.
One of his biggest musical influences is Johnny Cash.
Like most country artists, Kissel has always been a fan of Johnny Cash. When he released his first album, it included two Johnny Cash covers of “Tennessee Flat Top Box” and “Big River.”
Kissel is such a fan, he wrote Cash a letter when his wife June Carter Cash died in May 2003. While Cash died a few months later on September 12, 2003—coincidentally the same day Kissel released his debut album—the country artist received a signed photograph from his music icon with the words, “To Brett, Jesus First, Johnny Cash.”
He won the JUNO Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2014.
Back in 2014, Kissel won the JUNO award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year—an award previously won by fellow iHeartRadio MMVA performers Alessia Cara and, most recently, The Beaches. Kissel’s other career highlights include a total of nine Canadian Country Music Awards and touring with some of country music’s greats like Brad Paisley and Garth Brooks.
He’s a father to two little girls.
Kissel adores his little girls, Mila Elizabeth and Aria Cecilia. He loves them so much, he even wrote a song for them on his latest record titled “God Made Daughters.” He also has both of their birth dates tattooed on his left forearm.
He wears funky socks everyday.
Even though you don’t ever see them under his boots, Kissel previously told CTV News that he wears a pair of funky socks every single day of his life. From a strawberry printed pair to a pair with Mike Babcock’s face on them, Kissel is all about the fun sock trend.
He has a mini dachshund named Charlie.
The Kissel family isn’t just a family of four. Kissel and his wife Cecilia are also parents to a rambunctious miniature dachshund named Charlie. With his mismatched eyes and shiny coat, Charlie has gained a fan base of his own and even has his own Instagram account @ohmycharlie where fans can follow along on all his adventures.
He’s a serious Edmonton Oilers fan.
Growing up in rural Alberta meant that hockey was a big part of Kissel’s life growing up. So of course, he roots for Alberta’s NHL team the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been seen with the players at numerous events, has sung the national anthem at a handful of games, and often wears an Oilers jersey during his concerts. He was even spotted in Italy having dinner with Connor McDavid.
Kissel also wrote and recorded a song about the 2012–13 NHL lockout called “Hockey, Please Come Back,” proving he’s a serious fan of the game.
The City of Edmonton and Dawson Creek gave him his own day.
Canada is a country that’s proud of its homegrown talents. From actors and musicians, Canada loves to celebrate those from the country who have made it. The City of Edmonton and Dawson Creek were both so supportive of Kissel, they each honoured him with his own day.
BRETT KISSEL DAY… WHAT!? • • I just landed in Edmonton after a whirlwind national promo trip – and will literally have zero sleep before rocking a full media day in #YEG. I almost couldn't believe my eyes… and thought I was dreaming when I saw that Mayor Don Iveson has proclaimed that today, December 12th, is officially BRETT KISSEL DAY! • • Giant thanks to Mayor Iveson, city council, and the City of Champions for this amazing honor! #BrettKisselDay
He’s a fan of Ed Sheeran.
Because who isn’t? When Kissel went to an Ed Sheeran concert, he couldn’t resist getting a photo with the U.K. singer-songwriter, writing in the caption that Sheeran is the “real deal” and one of the best artists on the planet.
He’s up for collaborating with Justin Bieber.
Country music fans might be surprised by this, but Kissel previously told Global News he’d be up for collaborating with fellow Canadian and pop superstar Justin Bieber. “If Bieber wanted to do a duet with me, 100 per cent—I’m all yours, Justin,” said Kissel. It might seem like an unlikely duo but Bieber is a Luke Bryan fan so maybe a country music collaboration is in his future.
Watch Brett Kissel perform at the 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs in addition to Bebe Rexha, 98 Degrees, bülow, The Beaches, Shawn Mendes, Halsey, Alessia Cara, Marshmello featuring Anne-Marie, 5 Seconds of Summer, Kris Wu, and Meghan Trainor.
The 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs hosted by Awkwafina go down Sunday, August 26 at 9/7MT on CTV and Much.