Born in Springfield, Vermont, Aaron Lewis listened to folk music as a child. The son of divorced parents, he chronicled the emotional turmoil in his childhood with the rock band Staind, namely on tracks like "Epiphany" and "For You," from Break the Cycle. Like the late Kurt Cobain from Nirvana, Lewis cast an unpretentious, no-frills image, exhibiting a brooding disposition and emotional vulnerability that troubled youths could relate to. Lewis recorded his first album with Staind, Tormented, in 1996.
Staind remained on the fringes of mainstream acceptance until "Outside," a live collaboration between Lewis and Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst during the 1999 Family Values Tour, blew up on alternative and mainstream rock stations a year later. With only his acoustic guitar as his musical backing, Lewis delivered a raw, anguished performance of a song that Staind would later record in the studio for Break the Cycle. The track carved the path for Staind's subsequent commercial breakthrough.
Staind sustained a decade of popularity before Lewis broke free with a solo career in 2011, refashioning himself as a conservative country singer on his 2011 EP, Town Line. He had some success with the album but before he could capitalize on his country career, he reunited with Staind for an eponymous album in 2011. In 2012, he prepped his full-length country debut, The Road.
Aaron Lewis - "Forever":
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