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Born and raised in Odenton, Maryland, Dean left home at the age of 18 and honed his songwriting skills in a one-room cinderblock shack sans heat and plumbing. Writing both independently and with co-conspirators like Luke Dick and Casey Beathard, Dean developed his sound at regional shows, and eventually found himself sharing stages with the likes of Kane Brown, Jake Owen, and Brothers Osborne. In 2020 he caught the attention of Nashville's Big Machine Records, which added Dean to its roster. Early 2021 saw the release of the single "Wings" ahead of the arrival of his eponymous EP, which was issued later that April. Dean's song "Don't Come Lookin'" benefited from a high-profile placement on Paramount's hit series Yellowstone, and made it to number three on Billboard's Country Airplay chart, eventually cracking the Hot 100 as well. It helped build momentum for Dean's debut album, Greenbroke, which arrived in early 2022. After "Don't Come Lookin'," "Fearless (The Echo)" was the album's second single and appeared in several different forms throughout the year, culminating in a live version that anchored his 2023 eight-song release Live at the Ryman. ~ James Christopher Monger