An American country music duo, Dan + Shay is a vocal harmony group that has been performing professionally together since 2012. The band is made up of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, who both write as well as perform their own material. The pair first came to one another's attention in Nashville, Tennessee, where so many musical partnerships have been forged. Reputedly, the pair began writing songs together the day after they first met. Smyers, who was born in 1987, was raised in the area of Wexford in Pennsylvania. Mooney, who is five years younger than Smyers, is originally from Arkansas. In his early career, Mooney gained a reputation for songwriting by posting his tracks on YouTube and other music sharing sites, notably with many of them featuring the vocal talents of his then girlfriend, Veronica Ballestrini.
Dan + Shay's career milestones
One of the early songs penned by the duo after they first met was given to Rascal Flatts, the renowned country music trio, to record. Helping to make their name, this track led to considerable interest from music publishers. Within a few months, Dan + Shay had signed a deal with Warner Chappell Music, one of the largest publishing companies operating in the US.
By the latter half of 2013, Dan + Shay were starting to record their own material and put their vocals together on tracks. The band's debut single, called “19 You + Me”, came out in October of that year. It went platinum and got to number seven in the US Country Music Charts, also faring well in Canada. Further singles, such as “Nothin' Like You”, of 2015, also charted. In 2016, the band's single, “From the Ground Up”, got to the top spot in the US Country Airplay charts and it broke into the top 50 of the US Billboard singles. This gold-selling single was followed up by “How Not To”, a track that also topped the US Country Airplay charts, selling over 150,000 copies.
Having built an audience from the extensive radio airplay their singles were getting, Dan + Shay set about recording their debut studio album in 2014. The resulting LP was called When it All Began. It got to number six in the US Album Charts and featured Smyer's banjo playing as well as his guitar and percussion work. Session musicians for the album included Danny Orton and Bryan Sutton; the latter a distinguished mandolin player.
Dan + Shay's follow-up album was put out on CD and for digital download in 2016. Obsessed got to number two in the Top Country Albums chart and was a top 10 hit in the US Album Charts. The pair teamed up with other writers such as Martin Johnson and Liz Rose to pen a number of their tracks.