With its message of tolerance and charity, "Don't Laugh at Me" garnered nominations from the Country Music Association for single, song and video of the year in 1998. Again, career success dovetailed with personal happiness. His daughter Mally was born, bringing a deeper joy and depth to the words of the songs he sings as an artist.
In 2001, Wills released his fourth CD, Loving Every Minute, which included a duet with labelmate Jamie O'Neal. His Greatest Hits followed in 2002, featuring the huge radio hit "19 Somethin'." He released the album And the Crowd Goes Wild in 2003. He also just released the independent Looking For America this June and on the album, has a track that's benefiting military personnel that are returning to life stateside. I did an interview with Mark over at Engine 145 to talk about the new album and his work with our brave military teams. Read a snippet below and then check out the rest of the interview HERE.
"At the end of the day, I hope to be remembered as a singer. I don’t want to be remembered as the fanny wagon entertainer. And that’s because I think there’s a big difference between being an entertainer and a singer. I love that people are able to come to my show and hear the songs sung with the same intensity and the same passion with the same pitch live as it was on my record. That’s honestly what I strive for. I love to have fun. We have a great time in our show. And I think that’s important. But I think that’s part of what we’ve lost that makes, what I think, country music the greatest music out there. And that’s the fact that when you go see a Ronnie Milsap show, an Alabama show, one of those great artists perform live, they sound exactly like they did on the record as they did live. And that’s without auto-tune. And that’s without all the bells and whistles and tricks. That’s what I’ve always aspired to do. I’ve always aspired to be able to pull it off live and represent myself well live. And to me that brings it right down to the reality of it all, the musical talent. You have to be able to do what you do and represent yourself well live."Read the rest of the interview HERE.