Steve Holy is anything but an overnight sensation. Nearly 18 months after the release of his debut album, "Blue Moon" (Curb Records), he has hit big with his first No. 1 country single, "Good Morning

Steve Holy is anything but an overnight sensation. Nearly 18 months after the release of his debut album, "Blue Moon" (Curb Records), he has hit big with his first No. 1 country single, "Good Morning Beautiful," and breakthrough sales for the album.

Although Holy's three previous singles ("Don't Make Me Beg," "Blue Moon," and "The Hunger") earned respectable places in the top-30 of Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, "Good Morning Beautiful" has hit the proverbial home run by topping the tally.

Holy believes that airplay for "Good Morning Beautiful" (which was featured in the movie "Angel Eyes") has been the catalyst in jump-starting sales for the album. "The success of the other three singles really opened the door, but having a No. 1 song has taken things to a new level."

Released in October 2000, Blue Moon did not enter Billboard's Heatseekers chart until a year later, debuting at No. 44 in the Nov. 3, 2001, issue. The album steadily ascended the chart, reaching No. 1 last month, and is currently No. 97 on The Billboard 200. Meanwhile, "Blue Moon" has become a top-10 hit on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, where it is No. 8 in its 21st week on the roundup.

"'Good Morning Beautiful' has been one of our most-requested songs," says Rick McCracken, assistant PD/music director of country station WSOC Charlotte, N.C. "Steve Holy is very talented and likeable, and this is the kind of song that appeals to men and women." The video for "Good Morning Beautiful" has been getting heavy rotation on Country Music Television and Great American Country.

The combination of radio and video airplay has been the main reason why people are recently discovering Holy's album, says Cliff Gerken, music buyer for Ernest Tubb Record Shop's Broadway location in Nashville.

Curb VP of marketing Jeff Tuerff says Holy's current success is "a culmination of all the team efforts from Curb. We experienced a lot of growing pains with this record, and we're starting to see great results."

A native of Dallas, Holy paid his dues in the '90s by performing in the Texas area. His break came in 1993, when he placed first among 500 hopefuls in a talent contest organized by the Johnnie High Country Revue and joined the revue's cast. The Arlington, Texas-based talent show has been a launching pad for such artists as LeAnn Rimes. By 1999, Holy was the opening act for Rimes and was signed to Curb (Ironically, Rimes' father and former manager, Wilbur Rimes, produced "Blue Moon").

Holy, who now splits his time between Nashville and Dallas, notes: "I don't want people to label me. The majority of my influences I would consider traditional country, but I feel closer to the music of the '50s and '60s than the music of the '80s. I'm not necessarily into story songs. I'm into the simplicity of the music and melodies that express the same thing as the lyrics."

Though he's enjoying the success, Holy, who is in the midst of a U.S. tour, adds, "The recognition has been great, but one of my goals is that I would [still] like to be doing this for a living in 10 years."

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