Though the accomplished guitarist had played and written music through most of his childhood and teenage years, it was a pretty swift road after graduating from Belmont University to impending stardom – a week to be exact. Before the stress of finals had even worn off, the West Virginia native signed a deal with EMI Publishing. Just a few years later, after co-writing hits for other singers, he released his Arista debut, Who Needs Pictures, had a Number One hit with "He Didn't Have to Be" and took the Grand Ole Opry Stage all in 1999 (he'd be inducted as an Opry member only two years later, the youngest member ever to join at the time). Now, Paisley's one of the most respected country artists in the game, leading one of the highest-grossing tours and banking countless chart-topping debuts. So maybe not everyone suffers a post-collegiate existential crisis.