Dwight David Yoakam (born October 23, 1956) is an American country singer and actor.
Yoakam was born in Pikeville, Kentucky, and raised in Columbus, Ohio. When he began his career, Nashville was oriented towards pop Urban Cowboy music, and Yoakam's brand of Bakersfield honky tonk was not considered marketable. He began playing live in the Los Angeles area, performing with punk bands like Dead Kennedys, Butthole Surfers and X; and roots-rock bands The Blasters and Los Lobos.
Yoakam debuted with the college radio staple A Town South of Bakersfield in 1984 (1984 in music). His debut LP was 1986's Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. and it instantly launched his career (1986 in music). "Honky Tonk Man" (Johnny Horton) and "Guitars, Cadillacs" were hit singles. The follow-up LP, Hillbilly Deluxe, was just as successful. His third LP, Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room, included his first #1, a duet with Buck Owens, "Streets of Bakersfield". 1990's (1990 in music) If There Was a Way was another best-seller. After this, his career slowed down significantly, not releasing any hits until a cover of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (Queen) in 1999).
Yoakam has also taken some acting roles, most notably as the abusive alcoholic Doyle in Billy Bob Thornton's Sling Blade (1996).