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Mathew William Kearney[1] (/ˈkɑːrni/; born December 1, 1978) is an American musician born in Eugene, Oregon, now based in Nashville, Tennessee. Kearney has received critical acclaim and widespread recognition for his Columbia Records debut, Nothing Left to Lose. So far, he has a total of 5 top 20 hits on the Adult Top 40 Chart.

Mat Kearney
Mat Kearney.jpg
Background information
Born (1978-12-01) December 1, 1978 (age 40)
Eugene, Oregon, United States
OriginNashville, Tennessee, United States
GenresSoft rock, folk, CCM, hip hop
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano, harmonica, CP70, mandolin, synthesizer, vibraphone
Years active2003–present
LabelsInPop, Columbia, Aware, Universal Republic
Associated actsTyler Burkum, Trent Dabbs

Just Kids, was released on February 24, 2015. The album's first single, "Heartbeat", was released on November 4, 2014.[2] CRAZYTALK, was released on May 4, 2018.



Early lifeEdit

Kearney was born on December 1, 1978 and raised in Eugene, Oregon with his two brothers.[3] At South Eugene High School, Kearney was a soccer player.[4]

He attended California State University, Chico in Chico, California on an athletic scholarship and majored in literature, playing soccer until his junior year. Kearney first became interested in music after traveling to Nashville with music producer Robert Marvin.[4] Using a roommate's guitar, he tried covering songs by other artists, but realized he was not very good at it, and began writing his own. Though things were going well for Kearney at school, the partying atmosphere at Chico caught up to him. In an interview, Kearney said, "I guess I lived it up and did what everyone said you should do in college. I discovered the depth of depravity, the bleakness of that lifestyle. It just wasn't working. I finally started understanding there must be more to life."[5]

Kearney began focusing on music fusing his simple guitar playing with spoken word or rap. He started to play at coffee shops and soon began to make small amounts of money. At this time, Kearney had met friend and future producer, Robert Marvin. The two began to make music together, but Marvin had plans to move to Nashville, Tennessee. Marvin asked Kearney to help with the move and he accepted. Kearney says, "I helped him pack up his trailer and we put a mattress on the back of his truck. We basically drove cross-country and slept in the back. When we pulled into Nashville we slept in a school parking lot for three days until we finally rented this apartment where the roof was caving in and mice were crawling all over." Kearney decided to stay in Nashville to record a few demos with Marvin and after a few months, Kearney had no plans on returning. "By the end of the summer, we had three or four songs and I realized this is what I wanted to do. It just clicked. So I called home to Oregon and said, 'I'm not coming back' and I never left Nashville."[5]

Recording careerEdit

On April 18, 2006, Kearney's second album and major-label debut, titled Nothing Left to Lose, was released. It contains several reworked songs from Kearney's first album Bullet, as well as some new material, and has sold over 450,000 copies to date.[citation needed] The title track "Nothing Left to Lose" was the first single from the album, peaking at No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of February 10, 2007. The single has sold over 500,000 copies and won numerous BMI awards.[specify] The track "All I Need" was featured on Grey's Anatomy and NCIS. It peaked at No. 94 on the Billboard Pop 100. To promote Nothing Left to Lose, Kearney toured with John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Train, Mutemath, Meiko, and Cary Brothers throughout 2005, '06, and '07; he also headlined VH1's first ever "You Oughta Know Tour" in early 2007.

Kearney's following album, City of Black & White, was released through Columbia Records on May 19, 2009. He collaborated with Nashville artists such as Trent Dabbs, Matthew Perryman Jones, Kate York, Paul Moak, Daniel James, Will Sayles, and Josiah Bell. Robert Marvin (tobyMac, Britt Nicole), the producer of Kearney's previous albums and EPs, joined him yet again. The lead single was "Closer To Love", and it received much airplay, on both secular and Christian outlets. His second single is "All I Have", the last song he wrote before releasing the album.

In May 2009, Kearney toured with Keane and The Helio Sequence for several weeks to promote City of Black & White.[6] It debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 13. He toured with Owl City and Unwed Sailor on Owl City's "All Things Bright and Beautiful Tour".

Young Love was released August 2, 2011. The album's first single, "Hey Mama", was released on May 10, 2011. "Hey Mama" charted in the Top 40 of Adult Pop Songs at No. 22. The second single "Down" charted as high as No. 23 on the Christian Songs chart.[7] Just Kids, was released on February 24, 2015.[8] The album's first single, "Heartbeat", was released on November 4, 2014. He toured with both Judah and the Lion and Parachute during his "Just Kids" tour in 2015.[2]

From August 17, 2016 through November 12, 2016, Kearney toured with Needtobreathe for their second annual Tour de Compadres, where he performed songs from his albums Nothing Left to Lose, Young Love, and Just Kids.[9]

On December 13, 2016, Kearney signed with independent music company Big Loud Mountain Management.[10] On February 3, 2017, Kearney released a song with Filous, titled "Goodbye".[11] Kearney released a self-titled EP on December 22, 2017, previewing new tracks from his forthcoming album, Crazy Talk.[12]

Mat Kearney released his sixth album, Crazytalk, May 4, 2018 to average reviews.[13] Kearney did a two-month long Crazytalk tour starting the third week of February 2018. The album's single, "Better Than I Used to be", released on November 10, 2017 and reached No. 27 on the Viral 50 chart.[14]

Featured in the mediaEdit

Kearney's songs have appeared on the following television series: 30 Rock, Awake, Dirty Sexy Money, Kyle XY, The Unit, Without a Trace, Laguna Beach, The Hills, Bones, Jericho, Friday Night Lights, Wildfire, What About Brian, South Beach, 8th & Ocean, One Tree Hill, Scrubs, The Closer, NCIS, Life Unexpected, Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, So You Think You Can Dance, The Vampire Diaries and A to Z. His song "Runaway" is featured on the Soul Surfer movie soundtrack. Kearney's song "Sooner or Later" provides the background music to the WWDC 2013 and Google's Zeitgeist 2011: Year in Review video, which was uploaded to YouTube on December 14, 2011. He was also on The Today Show performing the song "Billion".[15] In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ricky Gervais included Kearney on his "Must List", stating "This singer-songwriter does spoken word that sounds like French hip-hop."[16]

Personal lifeEdit

Kearney currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, in Hillsboro Village with his wife Annie, whom he married on June 5, 2010.[citation needed]

Kearney has stated that his legal name is Mathew due to a nurse's error on his birth certificate. He discovered the error while in the 8th grade when he noticed how his mom corrected the error with red ink, never legally correcting it. Since then, he embraced the one "T" in his legal name.[citation needed]

On January 4, 2017, Kearney and his wife had their first child, a girl named Olive Sims Kearney.[17]


Studio albumsEdit

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
US Christ.
US Heat
US Rock
Nothing Left to Lose
  • Release date: April 18, 2006
  • Label: Aware/Columbia
  • Formats: CD, digital download
109 4 2
City of Black & White
  • Release date: May 19, 2009
  • Label: Aware/Columbia
  • Formats: CD, digital download
13 1 3
Young Love
  • Release date: August 2, 2011
  • Label: Aware/Universal Republic
  • Formats: CD, digital download
4 1 1 20
Just Kids
  • Release date: February 24, 2015
  • Label: Republic
  • Formats: CD, digital download
20 2
  • Release date: May 4, 2018[24]
  • Label: Tomorrow Music
  • Formats: CD, digital download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  • Revive Us – EP (2002)
  • West in November – EP (2003)
  • The Chicago EP – EP (2005)
  • Nothing Left to Lose Acoustic EP – EP (2006)
  • Rhapsody Originals (Live) – EP Digital-Only (February 20, 2007)
  • NapsterLive (Live) – EP Digital-Only (March 13, 2007)
  • iTunes Exclusive Acoustic EP – EP Digital-Only (April 17, 2007)
  • iTunes Exclusive Live Session EP – EP Digital-Only (2009)
  • For The Resilient Hearts, Ado - Daytrotter Sessions EP Digital-Only (2009)
  • Black Swan Shadow (2010)
  • Nightish Hearts of the Cold Rains - Daytrotter Sessions EP Digital-Only (2011)
  • Mat Kearney EP (2018)
  • City of Black & White Revisited (EP) (2019)

Live concertsEdit

  • Mat Kearney: Live at The Fillmore, San Francisco (2010)


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US Adult
US Christ
US Pop
2006 "Nothing Left to Lose" 41 7 36 Nothing Left to Lose
"Undeniable" 114 16 30
"All I Need"
2007 "Breathe In, Breathe Out" 18
2009 "Closer to Love" 91 12 7
  • RIAA: Gold
City of Black & White
"All I Have"
2010 "Head or Your Heart" Non-album singles
"Edge of the World (A Children's Song)"
2011 "Hey Mama" 18 Young Love
"Down" 21
"Ships in the Night" 87 22 10
  • RIAA: Gold
2014 "Heartbeat" 31 Just Kids
2015 "Billion" 39
"One Heart" 16 34
"Air I Breathe" 33 8
2018 "Kings & Queens" 21 CRAZYTALK
"Face to Face" 23
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


GMA Dove AwardsEdit

Year Award Result
2006 New Artist of the Year Nominated
Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song of the Year ("Trainwreck") Won
2007 Male Vocalist of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year ("Nothing Left to Lose") Nominated
Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year (Nothing Left To Lose) Nominated

Media appearancesEdit


  • Mat Kearney – vocals, guitar, piano
  • Chad Kinner – drums, percussion (2011–present)
  • Fred Williams – piano, keys
  • Adam Keafer – bass (2010–2015)
  • Nathan Spicer – guitar (2010–present)
  • Tyler Burkum – guitar, vocals (2009–present)
  • Phil Moore – bass (2015–present)
  • M.D. Miller – bass (2005–2009)
  • Jeremy Lutito – drums (2009–2012)
  • Aaron Farmer – keys (2016)


  1. ^ Anonymous. "Sims-Kearney vows planned in Tennessee " Engagements " - Kosciusko, MS". Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Kuchik, Natalie (October 29, 2014). "Mat Kearney to release new single 'Heartbeat' on November 4 - AXS". AXS. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  3. ^ "Mat Kearney| Singer, Songwriter| Christian Music Artist |". Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Lamberson, Carolyn (October 27, 2005). "Hometown boy takes an unlikely path to Nashville". Eugene Register-Guard. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Mat Kearney". Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  6. ^ "Mat Kearney". Mat Kearney. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  7. ^ "Mat Kearney". Mat Kearney. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  8. ^ "Mat Kearney". Twitter. Retrieved November 6, 2014.[non-primary source needed]
  9. ^ "Home". TOUR DE COMPADRES 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  11. ^ "FILOUS - GOODBYE (FT. MAT KEARNEY)". BEAUTIFUL BUZZZ. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  12. ^ "Mat Kearney Announces 2018 Album Title CRAZYTALK with News of the 'CRAZYTALK TOUR' Kicking-Off February 19th in the Pacific Northwest". Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  13. ^ " Mat Kearney, "CRAZYTALK" Review". Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  14. ^ "Mat Kearney Announces 2018 Album Title CRAZYTALK with News of the 'CRAZYTALK TOUR' Kicking-Off February 19th in the Pacific Northwest". Mat Kearney. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  15. ^ "Zeitgeist 2011: Year in Review". December 14, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2012 – via YouTube.
  16. ^ "Spotligh On Ricky Gervais". Entertainment Weekly. February 9, 2007. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  17. ^ "Mat & Annie Kearney Welcome Baby Girl into the World". Mat Kearney. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  18. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  19. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Christian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  21. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  22. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  23. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on February 11, 2015.
  24. ^ "CRAZYTALK by Mat Kearney". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  25. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History – Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  26. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History – Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  27. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History – Christian Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  28. ^ "Mat Kearney Chart History – Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2018.

External linksEdit