Mark Chesnutt began singing as a member of the junior high school choir. While in high school, he formed a country band with the help and encouragement of his father, also a country musician, and began performing. Chesnutt made his first record in 1981 at the age of 17, recording a total of six releases for the AXBAR label in San Antonio and, later, two for the Cherry label in Houston. However, none of these achieved popular success.
For ten years Chesnutt honed his talents in Beaumont honky-tonks like Cutter's, Doc Holliday's and Get Down Brown's. Finally, in 1990, he recorded a song he had found in Nashville called "Too Cold at Home" for the Cherry label. As a testament to Chesnutt's talent, fellow East Texan and future duet partner, George Jones, wrote the liner notes for the critically heralded, platinum-certified debut album. "This boy from Beaumont is the real deal," Jones declared proudly. On July 20, 1990, "Too Cold at Home" reached number 2 on the country music charts, leading to a contract with MCA Records.
Subsequent releases such as "Brother Jukebox," "Blame it on Texas," "Your Love is a Miracle," "Broken Promise Land," and "Old Flames Have New Names" were all top ten recordings and "I'll Think of Something" reached number 1 during the summer of 1992. In 1993, Chesnutt received the "Horizon" Award from the Country Music Association. Since his debut, the country baritone has racked up ten Number One singles and three platinum album awards. A die-hard southeast Texan, Chesnutt has never lived outside of the area. He currently resides in Jasper with his wife and children and frequently lends his name and talent to promoting development in the southeast Texas region.