Country gospel singer Josh Turner found his calling at an early age. It’s no surprise that the boy who grew up in church choirs went on to become a multi-Platinum artist—it’s just that his route to success was unconventional. Find out about the obstacles that were overcome along the journey, from Josh Turner’s tour bus accident in 2019 to the medical condition that gave birth to his signature voice.
Who Is Josh Turner?
Joshua Otis Turner was born on November 20, 1977 in Hannah, South Carolina. As a child, he sang in his church choir and started a gospel quintet called the Thankful Hearts. Turner considered music his calling, and immediately after high school, he began private singing lessons while enrolled at Francis Marion University.
But his sights were set on Nashville. He moved to Tennessee and began classical training at Belmont University, a school whose celebrated alumni include Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, and Brad Paisley. Turner spent his days as a poor college student listening to Hank Williams albums for free at the school library.
He got his big break in 2001 when he made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. The song he performed, “Long Black Train,” went on to become the title of his 2003 debut album. It peaked at No. 29 on the U.S. Billboard 200, and No. 4 on the Top Country Albums. The album was certified Gold in January 2004 and Platinum in November 2004.
Turner’s 2006 sophomore effort Your Man did even better. It debuted at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on the Top Country Albums. Six months after its release it was certified Platinum. Check out the title track for a taste of Turner’s talent.
But Turner’s signature deep voice wasn’t entirely a God-given gift. It was a skill he developed as the result of an injury that he discovered early in his career.
Why Does Josh Turner Have Such A Deep Voice?
In 1996, Turner sustained an injury that affected his singing. Doctors at the Vanderbilt voice clinic discovered a lesion on his right vocal cord and ordered him to rest his voice for a year.
“It was one of the scariest things I’d ever experienced,” he said in an interview with MLB Entertainment. “When I was that young, I was basically being told there was a chance I’d never be able to sing again–and it was scary … [the injury] basically came from … just singing the wrong way, all the time. I was singing when I was tired, I was singing songs that were too high or too low, I was breathing improperly, I didn’t have the right breath support.”
With the help of a vocal rehab program and continued classical training, Turner re-emerged a better version of himself. His deep, rich sound is the result of hard work and proper technique.
Is Josh Turner Married?
Sorry, folks. The country crooner is definitely spoken for. Turner married his wife Jennifer Ford in 2003, and the couple has four sons: Hampton, Colby, Crawford (called Marion), and Samuel (called Hawke).
Turner met Ford in the late 1990s when both were students at Belmont. These days she’s a musical collaborator who co-writes songs and serves as a keyboardist and backing vocalist in her hubby’s live band. She’s also the leading lady in the music videos for “I Wouldn’t Be a Man” and “Your Man”.
“We feel blessed to have each other to lean on. I’ve never given myself the option of leaving Jennifer or vice versa,” Turner writes in his 2014 book Man Stuff: Thoughts on Faith, Family, and Fatherhood. “Marriage hasn’t been trouble-free, but it’s been beautiful and powerful. Just like we’d hoped.”
What Happened With Josh Turner’s Tour Bus Accident?
Turner’s vocal cord injury wasn’t the only hurdle in his career. In September 2019, a tour bus carrying members of his crew veered off an embankment in Paso Robles, California. David Turner (no relation to Josh), the singer’s sound engineer for 14 years, died in the accident. Seven other crew members were hospitalized.
The singer and his band were following on a separate bus, but it was tragic nonetheless. A friend of a crew member, Jerry Slone, told Nashville radio station WKRN that Turner made a valiant effort to help his crew. “My understanding (is that) Josh and the band were there on-site helping rescue and pull people from the wreckage,” said Slone.
“As I try to write this I don’t know what to say,” Turner wrote on his Facebook page. “It’s a struggle to put into words the devastation and grief that our road family is trying to process. We lost a beloved member of our team … He was like a brother to so many in this industry.”
“All of our crew suffered significant injuries and many have long roads to recovery,” he added. “I would ask that you give them privacy during this time.” Turner linked to a GoFundMe page, asking fans to help raise money for the injured.
It sounds like Josh Turner’s road to fame hasn’t been as smooth as his voice. But we hope that his future brings better fortunes and continued success.