Many remember the great Chris LeDoux as someone who rose to fame in the 1990s. He is the father of Ned LeDoux, a budding artist in the music industry. He was a multi-faceted artist who enjoyed his career as a singer-songwriter, bronze sculptor, and hall of fame rodeo champion.
For over 30 years in the spotlight, LeDoux recorded a total of 36 albums, many of which are self-released. As of 2007, his albums have sold more than six million units in the United States alone. In addition, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified some of his albums gold and platinum. Also, he was a Grammy nominee and an honoree of the ACM Music Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award.
With these awards and accolades under his belt, LeDoux is quite a force to be reckoned with in country music. Unfortunately, we have lost him too soon as he passed away in 2005 from cancer.
His songs are well-loved and have become standard tunes to cowboys and cowgirls. Some of his famous hits include “Cadillac Ranch,” “Rodeo Life,” “Look at You Girl,” and “Tougher than the Rest.” However, it is “This Cowboy’s Hat” that makes him known by many.
“This Cowboy’s Hat”
Released in the summer of 1991, “This Cowboy’s Hat” was penned by Jake Brooks and recorded by Chris LeDoux. It is a part of his album Western Underground. While some of the tracks on the album entered the Top 40, this particular song somehow failed to make it to the country charts.
Two years before LeDoux released the song, fellow country artist Garth Brooks helped him launch his career. In fact, in one of Brooks’ songs, he mentioned Chris LeDoux.
“A worn out tape of Chris LeDoux…” — “Much Too Young” by Garth Brooks, 1989
This shows how much Brooks looks up to LeDoux. He respects him much that when LeDoux was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2000, Brooks did not hesitate to volunteer to donate part of his liver. Unfortunately, they were not compatible.
Ned LeDoux Pays Tribute to His Father
Despite it not penetrating mainstream sound, Chris LeDoux’s music influenced a lot of people. Not only was Brooks a part of this, but his high-octane shows and cleverly crafted songs also affected many.
One of those who he has influenced a lot is, of course, his son, Ned LeDoux. He was greatly inspired by his dad’s music that is why he released his 2017 album called “Sagebrush.” The album is filled with themes of cowboy life, and the west and the amped-up version of country that his father was popular about.
On October 19, 2017, Ned honored his father at The Roadrunner in New River, Arizona, with his hit, “This Cowboy’s Hat.”
Check out his fantastic tribute performance to his late dad here: