Brett James

Induction Year: 2020

Birth Name: Brett James Cornelius

Birth Date: 06-05-1968

Place of Birth: Columbia, Missouri

Midway through medical school, Oklahoma City native Brett James left college to pursue music in Nashville.

After several years as an Arista/Career recording artist, he continued writing for others, scoring early cuts by Billy Ray Cyrus, Kenny Chesney and Martina McBride.

In 2001, “Who I Am” by Jessica Andrews became Brett’s first #1 hit. In 2006, the chart-topping “Jesus Take The Wheel” by Carrie Underwood earned the 2006 Grammy for Best Country Song, as well as the 2005 ACM Single of the Year, the 2006 ASCAP Country Song of the Year and the 2006 NSAI Song of the Year.

Now with more than 300 major-label cuts, Brett’s catalogue includes hits such as “When The Sun Goes Down” by Kenny Chesney & Uncle Kracker, “Cowboy Casanova” by Carrie Underwood, “It’s America” by Rodney Atkins, “Out Last Night” by Kenny Chesney, “Summer Nights” by Rascal Flatts, “The Man I Want To Be” by Chris Young and “Bottoms Up” by Brantley Gilbert. Brett also has a Top 5 Latin hit with “The One You Love (Todo Mi Amor)” by Paulina Rubio.

Brett was named ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year in 2006 and 2010. In 2020, he released a new self-written album titled I Am Now.


(written with Hillary Lindsey, Troy Verges)

Martina McBride2002 #1 Country, #31 Pop

"Bottoms Up"

(written with Brantley Gilbert, Justin Weaver)

Brantley Gilbert2014 #1 Country, #20 Pop

"Church Bells"

(written with Zach Crowell, Hillary Lindsey)

Carrie Underwood2016 #2 Country

"Cowboy Casanova"

(written with Mike Elizondo, Carrie Underwood)

Carrie Underwood2009 #1 Country, #11 Pop

"I Hold On"

(written with Dierks Bentley)

Dierks Bentley2014 #3 Country#40 Pop

"I Want To Live"

(written with Rivers Rutherford)

Josh Gracin2004 #4 Country

"It's America"

(written with Angelo Petraglia)

Rodney Atkins2009 #1 Country

"Jesus Take The Wheel"

(written with Hillary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson)

2006 Grammy for Best Country Song, 2005 ACM Single of the Year, 2006 ASCAP Country Song of the Year, 2006 NSAI Song of the Year

Carrie Underwood2006 #1 Country, #20 Pop, #23 Adult Contemporary
Kristin Chenoweth2012 
Danielle Bradbery2013 

"Life After You"

(written with Chris Daughtry, Chad Kroeger, Joey Moi )

Daughtry2010  Country#4 Adult Contemporary / #36 Pop

"Love You Out Loud"

(written with Lonnie Wilson)

Rascal Flatts2003 #3 Country#30 Pop

"Mr. Know It All"

(written with Ester Dean, Dante Jones, Brian Seals)

Kelly Clarkson2011 #21 Country, #4 Adult Contemporary, #10 Pop

"Out Last Night"

(written with Kenny Chesney)

Kenny Chesney2009 #1 Country, #16 Pop


(written with Kenny Chesney)

Kenny Chesney2012 #1 Country

"Somethin' Bad"

(written with Chris DeStefano, Priscilla Renea)

Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood2014 #1 Country, #19 Pop

"Something In The Water"

(written with Chris DeStefano, Carrie Underwood)

Carrie Underwood2015 #1 Country, #24 Pop
Point Of Grace2015 

"Summer Nights"

(written with Gary LeVox, busbee)

Rascal Flatts2009 #2 Country#37 Pop

"The Man I Want To Be"

(written with Tim Nichols)

Chris Young2010 #1 Country

"The Truth"

(written with Ashley Monroe)

Jason Aldean2010 #1 Country#40 Pop

"When The Sun Goes Down"

Kenny Chesney & Uncle Kracker2004 #1 Country, #26 Pop

"Who I Am"

(written with Troy Verges)

Jessica Andrews2001 #1 Country, #24 Adult Contemporary, #28 Pop
Danielle Bradbery2013 #22 Country

Brett James

Induction Year: 2020