WHO'S NEW ... JOSH TURNER

Finding His Voice

Josh Turner's deep, commanding voice is all over the radio these days, singing his hit "She'll Go On You." But there was a time when Josh wondered if that voice would ever be heard at all.

"Back in 1996, I had a lesion on my right vocal cord," he recalls. "I thought I wouldn't ever be able to sing again." Doctors ordered him to rest his voice for a year - leaving him to question if his dream of being a country singer was over.

"The ironic thing was, I came out of that sounding 10 times better than I had before!" he reports. "So it was a blessing. I think it was just my determination - I loved singing so much that I wasn't about to give up."

Josh has had that determination since his teens, growing up in the small town of Hannah, S.C. It was there that 15-year-old Josh - by then already a talented singer - had a revelation as he rode his four-wheeler through a field one day.

"I felt the Lord call me and say this is what I'm supposed to do with my life, and that He was going to pave the way for me," says Josh. "From then on, every step I took, whether it was joyful or hurtful, led me to where I am now."

Josh's parents insisted he go to college, so he set out for Nashville's Belmont University to study voice. Within a few months of his 2001 graduation he had scored a record deal and begun work on his debut album, due next March.

Besides an education, 25-year-old Josh also found his future wife, Jennifer, at Belmont. The two plan to marry in a year or so, one reason Josh can relate to "She'll Go On You." "It's a song about how to treat the women in your life," he explains, "and how to cherish them."

Josh has already gotten a wave of feedback from men and women who love the song - and that's exactly what he's looking for.

"I used to strive for being a Hall of Famer and winning awards," he says, "but I'm realizing that doesn't really mean as much to me as affecting the fans in a positive way. I want to be a legend in this business."

-- Chris Neal

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