Black made waves in 1989 with his debut single "A Better Man", which made him the first male country artist in 15 years to send a debut single to number one. The next three singles from his debut album Killin' Time also went the distance, and he only missed the top 10 once between then and late 1998. Although his commercial success dwindled in the 2000s, leading to a departure from RCA Records, he has continued to record. Between 2004 and 2008, he owned the Equity Music Group label, which released albums by him, Little Big Town, Carolina Rain, Laura Bryna, Kevin Fowler, and Carolyn Dawn Johnson.
Black also has a few acting roles to his credit, and he has been married to actress/singer Lisa Hartman since 1991. She sang backing vocals on his last #1 hit, "When I Said I Do".
Tropes present in Black's work:
- Advertised Extra: Lisa Hartman Black got chart credit on "When I Said I Do" entirely for singing a backing vocal.
- Broken Win/Loss Streak: The 1997 single "Still Holding On" (a duet with Martina McBride) snapped a 24-song streak of Top 10 hits dating back to his debut single, having just missed at #11.
- Christmas Songs: Looking for Christmas in 1995 produced chart entries in "'Til Santa's Gone" and "The Kid". The former continued to re-chart every Christmas until 2000, when Billboard changed the country charts to disallow re-entries of Christmas songs. The album was re-issued in 2004 via Equity with two new tracks.
- Drowning My Sorrows: "Killin' Time" is about the singer getting hammered and trying to forget a lost love.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: The 48-second harmonica solo that launches "State of Mind". "Easy for Me to Say" outdoes it with a nearly two-minute string opener.
- Epic Rocking: "Been There", a duet with Steve Wariner, reaches nearly six minutes thanks to a myriad of harmonica and guitar solos.
- Happy Rain: "Like the Rain", in which he says that he never liked the rain until he walked through it with his lover, and now he's "falling for [her] just like the rain".
- Hurricane of Puns: "Tuckered Out", which basically is about how many Country Music acts you can fit into one song, for example:
- Leaving Food for Santa: "'Til Santa's Gone (I Just Can't Wait)" was originally called "'Til Santa's Gone (Milk and Cookies)".
- Lyric Swap: In "Nothin' But the Taillights", the narrator's ex kicked him out of his truck and drove off in it. In the first chorus he's "walking in the moonlight", and says "that's a pair of taillights I may never see again". In the second chorus he's "talking in the moonlight", thinking over the situation. The last chorus is his plan for when he finds her and gets the truck back: she'll be walking in the moonlight, and "that's a pair of taillights she won't ever see again."
- New Sound Album: D'lectrified, recorded entirely with acoustic instruments.
- Record Producer: He was produced by James Stroud from his debut album through Nothin' but the Taillights (a 10-year span), with Mark Wright as an additional producer on his debut. From D'Lectrified onward, he produced by himself. He also produced Nashville Star winner Buddy Jewell's debut album, and a couple albums by acts on Equity.
- Sequel Song: "No Time to Kill" references "Killin' Time".
- Shaped Like Itself: "Wherever You Go"..."there you are".