His friends growing up were into rock 'n' roll, but he went country - something he says was just a family tradition.
"That's what my grandfather liked. He said, 'I like country music . . . Well, by golly, that's what I like.' And I kind of stuck to that."
From landing his first paying gig at age 11, to becoming a regular on his hometown of Wheeling, W.Va.'s radio revue, "Jamboree U.S.A.," to joining the cast of the Grand Ole Opry, his grandfather's advice paid off.
One thing he said to Paisley was, "You learn to play this guitar and you'll never be alone."
"Yeah, he's about right about that," Paisley said.
More than one million fans attended Brad Paisley concerts in North America and Europe this past summer. He's got big-name fans as well. Singer Carrie Underwood has become his regular co-host for the annual Country Music Association Awards, and she partnered-up with him for the duet, "Remind Me."
Underwood says it's his uncanny way with lyrics and melody that has won her over.
"Everybody knows he plays guitar. But I think a lot of people don't know exactly how freaking awesome he is at it," Underwood told Schieffer. "He sings. He writes. He's such a talented person. He just doesn't need all the extra crap that so many other people need."
Paisley's so secure in his country credentials, that when he took us to his favorite down-home restaurant outside Nashville, he didn't feel the need to order fried chicken. He had a fruit salad.
He may be a regular guy off-stage, but the story of how he met his wife sounds like a movie. When an old girl friend dumped him after a movie date, he decided that who he really wanted to be with was not the girl friend but the woman in the movie - actress Kimberly Williams of the "Father of the Bride" films.
"He stalked me, that's the long and the short of it," said Kim Williams-Paisley.
To get to know her, Paisley cast Williams in his music video for "I'm Gonna Miss Her."
"My manager called me and she said, 'This adorable boy called me. He's from the South. You're gonna love his accent. You're gonna date him,'" Williams-Paisley laughed.
"He says it was love at first sight for him, and for me it was more like love at first month or two."
Two kids later, their marriage continues to grow, as Paisley keeps looking for new musical barriers to break.
Inspired by the election of Barack Obama, he wrote, "Welcome to the Future," a song that celebrates racial progress.
It was a hit, but some of his red-state fans were less than happy with the song - or with his 2009 performance at the White House.
"Real fans are real fans," Paisley said. "But I think . . . I know there was a few people that all of the sudden I was becoming very political. And it was less about politics for me and more about things that just seemed right and wrong."
Political or not, Paisley says he'll keep on using his music to speak whatever's on his mind.
"I think we've come a long way," he said. "We have a long way to go. But writing about that, why isn't that country music's job? It should be. I mean, that's the beauty of country music. Nothing is off-limits."
And the way Brad Paisley sees it - nothing ever will be.
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