Jimmy Fortune is an American country singer who released eight albums as a solo musician. He also sang tenor for The Statler Brothers for 21 years.
Fortune was born on March 11, 1955, in Staunton, Virginia, USA.
He grew up in Staunton, Virginia in a musical family. From a very young age, Jimmy played gospel music.
Fortune attended Nelson County High School in Lovingston, Virginia. He said for Cleveland:
“I was supposed to graduate in ’74, but I quit school in ’73.”
Fortune went on to say:
“I went back and got my GED, but I didn’t graduate with the class.”
He began his musical career during high school as a member of the Nelson County High School choir.
The Statler Brothers
He started to sing in The Statler Brothers band in 1982 as a temporary replacement for singer Lew DeWitt. At the time, Lew was suffering from Crohn’s disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease) and the ground required a temporary replacement.
In 1983, Jimmy permanently joined the band when Lew was not able to return to the stage.
During an interview, he was asked about his career highlight with the Statler Brothers. The country music singer said:
”Probably meeting President Reagan and working with Nancy Reagan in DARE. President Reagan was so nice to us.”
”He never made us feel like we were less than he was.”
In 2002, The Statler Brothers founders Phil Balsley, Harold Reid, and Don Reid decided it was time to retire. Since forming, the band has released over 40 albums.
In 2007, The Statler Brothers and Fortune were inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame.
On June 29, 2008, they were inducted into the Country Music Association Hall of Fame.
Jimmy sang tenor for the group for 21 years.
Later, he transitioned into a solo career.
He released his first solo album, When One Door Closes, in 2003. On December 27, 2005, he released another album, named – ”I Believe.”
On November 29, 2007, Fortune released his third album, titled – ”Feels Like Christmas.” On December 8, 2009, his fourth album, ”Windows,” was released. On August 28, 2012, Jimmy released his fifth album, entitled – ”Lessons.”
In 2015, Fortune released ”Hits & Hymns.” The album was produced by Ben Isaacs, and it features Vince Gill, the Gaither Vocal Band, the Oak Ridge Boys, Sonya Isaacs, and Ricky Skaggs.
”Hits & Hymns” reached Top Ten on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.
On April 21, 2017, Jimmy released another album, titled – ”Sings the Classics.”
On May 24, 2019, God & Country was released. It includes a new rendition of The Statler Brothers’ hit “More Than a Name on a Wall.” The recording is also available in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations.
According to Reference, he has gone through two divorces.
Jimmy Fortune is currently married to Nina.
Jimmy Fortune has four children with his second wife and at least one with Nina.
During an interview, Jimmy said about his children:
”I try to take time for family as much as I can, because I missed a lot when my kids were growing up.”
Fortune later added:
”I try to get as much of that in that I can with my grandchildren.”
In 2012, the musician wrote on his Facebook page that his child was born with spina bifida, a condition in which there is an abnormal development of the back bones, spinal cord, surrounding nerves, and the fluid-filled sac that surrounds the spinal cord.
Spina bifida typically develops in the first few weeks of pregnancy.
Many children with spina bifida only have mild symptoms or don’t have any symptoms. Some of the symptoms may include the following:
- scoliosis (a sideways curvature of the spine);
- a dimple or birthmark on the spine;
- a small clump of hair;
- toe walking;
- back or leg pain;
- chronic urinary tract infections;
- bowel incontinence;
- chronic constipation.
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”I knew a higher power than me was driving this.”
“God Bless America” is one of my favorites because God has blessed America over and over and over again.”
”I credit God with putting me in a position where I was able to do that.”
”The whole project to me was just a God thing.”
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”Some things just happen in life, but life can be a pretty tough thing.” (source)
”We sign autographs after every show and get out there with the people and meet and greet.”
He wrote several songs recorded by the Statler Brothers, including:
- My Only Love;
- Too Much on My Heart;
Jimmy Fortune – Net Worth
Fortune earned most of his wealth from his music. For 21 years he was part of the Statler Brothers. Later, Jimmy released 8 solo albums. He has performed all over Canada and the United States. Therefore, Jimmy Fortune has an estimated net worth of $3.5 million.