Lyle Pearce Lovett (born November 1, 1957) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. Active since 1980, he has recorded thirteen albums and released 21 singles to date, including his highest entry, the #10 chart hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, "Cowboy Man". Lovett has won four Grammy Awards, including Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Album. His most recent, It's Not Big It's Large was released in 2007, where it debuted and peaked at #2 on the Top Country Albums chart. A new studio album, Natural Forces, was released on October 20, 2009 by Lost Highway Records.
Lovett was born in the unincorporated area of Klein, Harris County (suburban Houston), Texas, the son of William and Bernell (née Klein) Lovett, a marketing executive and training specialist, respectively. He was raised as a Lutheran. Lovett attended Texas A&M University, where he studied German and journalism, and was Robert Earl Keen's roommate.
Lovett's music career began as a songwriter, but he soon signed with MCA Records in 1986 and released his eponymous debut album. While typically associated with the country genre, Lovett's compositions often incorporate folk, swing, blues, jazz and gospel music as well as more traditional country & Western styling. He has won four Grammy Awards, including Best Country Album (1996 for The Road to Ensenada), Best Country Duo/Group with Vocal (1994 for "Blues For Dixie" with the Texas swing group Asleep at the Wheel), Best Pop Vocal Collaboration (1994 for "Funny How Time Slips Away" with Al Green) and Best Country Male Vocal (1989) for Lyle Lovett and His Large Band).
Lovett has acted in a number of films, including Robert Altman's films: The Player (1992), Short Cuts (1993), Prêt-à-Porter (1994), Cookie's Fortune (1999), and composed for Dr. T & the Women (2000). More recently, he has acted in The New Guy (2002) and Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story (2007). His television acting forays include Mad About You, Brothers & Sisters and Dharma & Greg.
Lovett was given an award called an "Esky" for Surest Thing in Esquire's 2006 Esky Music Awards in the April issue. The magazine said of Lovett: "The secret of Lyle Lovett's endurance comes down to the three C's: class, charisma and consistency... In the studio and on stage with his giant orchestra, he's spent two decades gracefully matching genuine songcraft with A-list musicianship".
Lovett primarily plays Collings acoustic guitars.
Lovett's personal life was brought to the fore in 1993 when he married actress Julia Roberts. The couple had met on the set of The Player in 1992. After a three-week romance, they eloped and married in June 1993 in Marion, Indiana. The couple divorced less than two years later, in March 1995. The marriage breakup was said to be caused by their career demands causing the two to often be away from each other. They would, though, remain friends, and Roberts would even sing one of Townes Van Zandt's songs (recorded by Lovett on Step Inside This House) in her 1998 movie Stepmom. To discover more about the relationship, devoted fans have spent long hours poring over the lyrics of Lovett's 1996 album, The Road To Ensenada. Lovett has been dating April Kimble since 1999.. Lyle has no children.
His small-town life was again brought to the public's attention on March 28, 2002 when Lovett was caught by a bull and rammed into a fence on his uncle's farm in Klein, Texas, before being pulled to safety. Lovett fully recovered after six months and began touring again in the summer of 2003.