California native Mark Daniel Sanders was a literature major, a basketball player and a surfer who, at the age of twenty-nine, came to Nashville to try for the title of Songwriter. After ten years of paying his “dues” his career skyrocketed in the early 1990s thanks to hits by Diamond Rio (Mirror, Mirror), Tracy Lawrence (Runnin’ Behind) and John Anderson (Money In The Bank), and a song on “No Fences” (Victim of the Game). Sanders was Nashville Songwriter’s Association Songwriter of the Year in 1995 and 1996 and ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year in 1997. He had five #1 songs in 1995 alone. His No News (by Lonestar) was ASCAP’s 1996 Country Song of the Year. He received four CMA Triple Play Awards, given for three #1 songs in a twelve month period. His "I Hope You Dance" (by Lee Ann Womack) was Song of the Year for NSAI, ASCAP, the ACM and the CMA, and earned a 2000 Grammy for Best Country Song. He and Tia Sillers wrote a book, inspired by the song, that has sold two million copies. Among Sanders recorded songs are hits for artists such as George Strait (Blue Clear Sky), Ricochet (Daddy’s Money), Jo Dee Messina (Heads Carolina, Tails California), Trace Adkins (No Thinkin’ Thing) and Faith Hill (It Matters to Me).
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