Craig Wayne Boyd’s baby isn’t the only one sporting a smile this week.
Just thirteen days after winning the seventh season of The Voice, the 35-year-old Nashville transplant sits at the top of the country charts with “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face.” The newly-released single is only the second country song in history to debut at Number One, sharing the honor with Garth Brooks’ “More Than a Memory,” which topped the charts upon its debut back in September 2007.
Although he didn’t write “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face” — that job went to Latin-American country singer Stephanie Urbina Jones and Loretta Lynn’s son-in-law, Mark Marchetti — Boyd did log several years as a staff writer at EMI’s Nashville office. There, he cranked out song after song, hoping a few originals would find their way onto albums by A-list country artists. When none of his songs did the trick, he decided to rebrand himself as a solo artist and road warrior instead, logging as many as 243 dates a year as the opening act for country singers such as Randy Houser and Jamey Johnson. Houser later returned the favor by duetting with Boyd during The Voice‘s homecoming episode.
Boyd is now signed to Nashville’s Dot Records, with an album due out in 2015. Although several Voice champs have written some of the material on their major-label debuts — most notably Cassadee Pope, another alum of Team Blake — Boyd has yet to announce any details for the album, apart from its “classic country” direction inspired by Merle Haggard, Travis Tritt and Hank Williams, Jr. He has, however, announced an upcoming January 2015 tour, which kicks off with his debut performance at the Grand Ole Opry on January 3rd.