Lee Thomas Miller: Giving a Voice to Americans

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Lee Thomas Miller, a Tennessee resident for over 26 years and a three-time GRAMMY nominee, started from humble beginnings and has spent the past decade fighting for the rights of his fellow songwriters, “America’s smallest small business,” as Miller calls them.

Lee Thomas, as his momma always called him, was born in 1968 in Nicholasville, Kentucky, the son of a fourth-generation tobacco farmer and small-town librarian. His paternal grandfather was an Army veteran who fought in Germany during World War II, a story that Miller memorialized in his GRAMMY-nominated song “In Color.” After spending his youth working with his father on the farm, Miller enrolled at Eastern Kentucky University after high school. Four years later, he graduated from the university with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Theory and Composition. (Two decades later, EKU would induct Miller into its Hall of Distinguished Alumni.)

Same TruckIn 1991, Miller packed his bags—and guitar—and moved to Music City, where he dabbled in side jobs as he honed his songwriting skills. Miller played gigs all over town, including three years at the Opryland Hotel, a short stint as Tom T. Hall’s fiddle player, and as part of the traveling Nashville Country Music Review, until he landed his first publishing deal—five years after he first arrived in Nashville. It would be another five years before he would achieved his first hit song as a writer, “The Impossible” by Joe Nichols, a song that proved the Impossible sometimes is… well, possible. A well-known BMI executive once told Miller that he was “an average musician by Nashville standards, but you might just be a songwriter.” Miller gratefully took that advice.

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