Sturgill Simpson was born in Kentucky to his secretary mom and a state policeman dad. After graduating from high school, Simpson joined the U.S. Navy, where he was stationed in Japan before returning to Kentucky. In 2004, the singer formed a bluegrass band called Sunday Valley; they released one album before disbanding. When the band broke up in 2012, Simpson and his wife headed to Nashville. The following year, High Top Mountain (named after the cemetery where many members of his family are buried) was released to critical acclaim. The vintage country sound, coupled with Simpson's Waylon Jennings-esque voice was a welcomed respite to the hip-hop and electronic-tinged Bro-country that country radio embraced. Produced by Dave Cobb, the album set the singer up nicely for his breakthrough sophomore release, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. With Cobb once again at the helm, the was released in May 2014, and topped just about every year-end Best Of poll. Wins for Artist of the Year and Song of the Year ("Turtles All the Way Down") at 2015's Americana Music Association awards upped Simpson's already valuable stock. In 2016, the singer released A Sailor's Guide to Earth.