The year was 2003. Country radio listeners heard a new song on the radio and many immediately thought it was a new, unheard Conway Twitty song...because of the ultra-deep baritone voice.

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But it wasn't Conway Twitty. It was a new singer-songwriter named Jeff Bates and the song was called, "The Love Song."

Bates' story is pretty remarkable. He had an addiction to methamphetamines that nearly destroyed his life and sent him to jail briefly in 2001 when he stole to feed the habit.

After recovering from the addiction, Bates got a second chance in late 2002 when he signed with RCA Nashville (Sony Music Nashville) and released his debut single "The Love Song" by January of 2003.

"The Love Song" peaked at number seven on the Mediabase country chart and was off his debut album, Rainbow Man.

Bates charted six more times from 2003-2006, including the top 15 hit, "Long Slow Kisses."

One of those singles was about his addiction in a song called, "One Second Chance," which peaked at #47 on Mediabase in 2006.

He released a few more albums after 2007, including releasing songs off Black River Entertainment, which is the record label owned by Terry and Kim Pegula.

You can't mistake Jeff Bates' vocals. They're so deep and rich. His songs are all great but his debut album is still one of my favorites of the 2000s.

Hear some of Jeff Bates below.

Country Stars Then And Now

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