Born in Dallas, Texas, country singer Brad Hawkins was raised by his mother in Summerville, South Carolina who exposed him to the music of Bob Seger and James Taylor. When she passed away while Hawkins was a teenager, he chose to move back to Dallas to live with his father, a musician that turned him on to country music. After graduating from high school, the younger Hawkins, who would play music with his father, sent an audition tape to a talent contest through The Nashville Network cable television station. Although he didn't win, an agent encouraged him to move to Los Angeles and, in 1992, he was cast for a role in the syndicated children's series V.P. Troopers. Hawkins stayed with the show through the duration of its run in 1994, when he decided to pursue a country music career. Working with songwriter Steve Diamond, Hawkins' demos earned him a recording contract with Curb Records and released a self-titled debut in 1995. For the next two years, he toured, filling opening slots for acts like Faith Hill, The Dixie Chicks, and Alabama. Although his album managed to attract heavy airplay for two videos, "We Lose" and "I'm The One," it failed to translate into sales. In late 1999, Hawkins appeared in the CBS mini-series Shake, Rattle & Roll.