Listed by Wide Open Country as one of the “Top 15 Most Iconic Artists in Texas Country Music,” Significant Sig Wade Bowen’s career journey has been filled with milestones and memories.
From his 1999 self-released debut through his most recent collaboration with his lil’ buddy Randy Rogers, Bowen, TEXAS TECH 2000, has accumulated seven top 30 albums, three inside the top 10, on the Billboard Country Albums charts, more than 20 number one singles on the Texas music charts and millions of plays on the national streaming services.
Not to mention, he has played over 4,000 shows in the United States and abroad, with multiple appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.
Bowen’s path to stardom as an artist in the Red Dirt Country Music sub-genre began while attending Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where, at age 20, during his sophomore year of college, he and Matt Miller founded the band West 84.
It was also at Texas Tech where Bowen discovered Sigma Chi, and was initiated in Spring 1997.
“It’s funny, one of my best friends was a Phi Delt (at Tech),” Bowen said during a June interview. “I was kind of following his footsteps, then I went through rush and was immediately blown away by the guys in the (Epsilon Nu) chapter. (I) just immediately fell in love and changed my mind. I never looked back.”
After returning to the road full-time in late 2018 and 2019, Bowen and artists across the globe saw their livelihoods impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic which forced many from the road.
For Bowen, however, it was another opportunity to hit the reset button, take a break and focus on life, quality time with his wife and sons, Bruce and Brock, and his future.
“I think what I learned most was that I needed a break,” Bowen said. “I was pushing myself too hard. The silver lining in all of that — I don’t look back at it and think of it as a terrible year. I feel like it’s one of the best years of my life.
“I got to be home and see my kids, and for a guy who’s always been on the road — and I have been for over 20 years — who never stopped, kept my head down and kept working, you never stop to take a break from all of that. To have that chance to do all of that and be around my kids and wife more. Honestly, to hit the reset button on my career and rethink all of that has been wonderful.
“As much as I hate that we’ve lost so many people with this pandemic and crazy virus over the past year, me personally, I feel like I grew from it and became a better person.”
The break didn’t completely pause Wade’s career.
In May 2020, the second studio volume of the “Hold My Beer and Watch This” partnership with Randy Rogers, Hold My Beer Vol 2, was released to wide acclaim, with the video of its humorous lead ballad “Rodeo Clown” accumulating more than 600,000 views on YouTube.
He provided his fans with an opportunity to remain connected with the June 2020 launch of the Facebook Live series Wades World: The Ultimate Quaranstream, which saw Bowen reconnect with an array of friends and artists from around the music community, special acoustic performances and stories.
Secondly, Bowen surprised fans with the September release of a special extended play titled The Waiting, which included four studio versions of popular live songs including the aforementioned fan-favorite “Who I Am,” a Phil Collins cover and an original cut, “Fairest Lady,” co-written with Brent Cobb.
As COVID restrictions slowly eased in Texas into 2021, Bowen and his band returned to the road with private shows and public performances in front of socially distanced crowds, and later returned to full audience and festival shows across the state.
Bowen and Rogers released the self-titled single from their 2020 album, “Hold My Beer” with a special video including clips submitted by their fans. The single became an immediate smash, rising to the top spot on the Texas music charts three times over the course of the summer.
Then in June, while in the midst of a heavy summer touring schedule, Bowen was formally honored for his career achievements as a 2021 recipient of the presti- gious Significant Sig award.
During a special presentation ceremony in Lubbock, prior to his headlining set at William Clark Green’s CottonFest, Bowen reflected proudly upon his Sigma Chi experience.
“I want to send a huge thank you to Epsilon Nu for initiating me in Spring 1997,” Bowen told an audience of Epsilon Nu alumni, undergraduates and friends.
“I made so many lifelong friends, and memories that still make me tear up when I think about them.”
“I don’t play music to collect and receive awards, but when you do, especially ones like this one, I just want (people) to know that I’m beyond honored and do not take for granted any moment in my life that involves Sigma Chi. To this day I still get texts, emails (and) surprise visits all over at shows (from brothers). I really believe in my life I have an unbelievable amount of respect, honor, friendship, strength, spirit, high ideals and love because of Sigma Chi. I will never ever be able to repay it for all it has given me.”
The good news continued for Bowen following a series of joint shows with Rogers, with announcement of a worldwide publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music Nashville.
Following performances at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry, he headlined Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, and shared the bill with rock leg- ends ZZ Top at the Born & Raised Festival in Oklahoma. “I’m older, but I feel like I’m just getting started again,” Bowen said. “It’s kind of weird. I feel like I’m now better than I’ve ever been, so I’m anxious to see what’s going to happen.”
Much like the 19-year-old writing songs in his Lubbock garage, Bowen says he feels the same drive as he completes his 24th year in the music industry.
There are many songs to write, plenty of stories to tell and thousands of fans to entertain.
“I feel like I’ve got some cool stuff left to do in my career. And that’s a real good feeling — to know I’ve been doing it this long and have that same feeling I had when I started, ‘Let’s go conquer the world and figure this out.’”
For more about Wade Bowen and a list of tour dates visit