Overcoming the Odds: Country singer lives out his dreams
ATHENS, AL (WAFF) - Bradley Walker is a man who can say something that most of us can't; he has lived his dream.
This country music singer from Athens who has graced the stage of the Grand Ole Opry has an incredible story over overcoming the odds.
Bradley Walker, 32, says he started singing when he was two or three years old. Singing comes as naturally as talking to this man who grew up in a musical family. His father sang and his mother worked at a music store while carrying him.
"We joke sometimes that is where I get my musical talent," said Bradley.
Wherever the talent comes from, it's undeniable. This country music singer has collaborated with Vince Hill, Ricky Skaggs, and Brad Paisley just to name a few. Right now, Walker and Paisley are currently working on a project.
He has released a solo CD called "Highway of Dreams," and has performed numerous times at the Grand Ole Opry. He's constantly on the road touring and performing.
"I was just drawn to country music and found out at an early age I could carry a tune," said Walker.
He pursues his singing career while holding down a full-time job, but what makes Walker more extraordinary is that he was born with muscular dystrophy. He's been in a wheelchair his entire life, but Walker said he feels fortunate.
"This is a non-progressing form of M.D. So not having to go through a change, one day you are walking and, boom, at 18 or 20 years old and you are in a wheelchair," he said "Those kinds of things I've never had to deal with that."
"I've just learned to adapt and do things in my own way, and I've been blessed with a family that supports me and taught me never to use my situation to gain anything to get things on my own by working hard."
His work ethic is remarkable. He designed and helped build his home where he lives on his own. He works at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant as the Material Inventory Coordinator. He's responsible for making sure the plant has the parts and supplies they need to stay up and running.
Walker has been performing since he was four years old. In the 80's the Oak Ridge Boys gave him his first national TV exposure.
He got his professional start just hanging out at musical venues and the Grand Ole Opry where he worked his way backstage to meet many of the performers. It's there he made the connections that led to collaborating and the fulfillment of his greatest accomplishment, singing at the Opry.
"That was a dream of mine from the start to get to sing one song on that stage. I think I've done it now a total of eight times either on my own or as a request of other artist, and it's an amazing feeling."
Many fans have let him know his music has touched their lives and is transforming.
"It's a good feeling knowing that something you are doing and something you love to do can have the power to touch somebody like that. And that's the best thing about music, and I am proud to be able to share that with people."
He said that he has lived his dream and if the music ended today, he would have no complaints.
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