Paulette Carlson

Award-winning Artist

Paulette Tenae Carlson, known for her unique vocal style and sound, is a renowned American Country music star, who rose to fame in the 1980s as the founder and lead vocalist for Highway 101. With Highway 101, they produced several albums, charted four No. 1 hit singles, seven Top 10 hits, as well as many other Top 20 hits.  They won “Vocal Group of the Year” in both 1988 & 1989 with both CMA & ACM Awards. They were also credited with several CMA, ACM, and Grammy nominations. As a solo artist, she has charted five times on Hot Country Songs and recorded three studio albums.  At an early age, Paulette started singing and writing songs in her hometown of Moose Lake, Minnesota. She began singing professionally for many years with various bands at local country bars in Fargo, ND, and Minneapolis, MN, where she built a large local following before heading to Nashville in 1978. 

Soon after arriving in Nashville, she was signed as a songwriter for the Oak Ridge Boys’ Silverline/Goldline Publishing Company. She signed a singles contract with RCA Records and released three singles: “You Gotta Get to My Heart”, “I’d Say Yes”, and “Can You Fool”. 

In 1986 when Highway 101 was formed, their first hit was a song written by Paulette called “The Bed You Made For Me” which was credited for establishing their unique sound, and lyrically a strong woman’s attitude, with an equally strong voice. Produced by Paul Worley, the band found itself in the right place, right time, and with the right team.  Warner Bros Records immediately turned a singles deal into an album deal for Paulette and the band.  Not to mention a few of their follow up hits were “Whiskey If You A Were A Woman”, “Somewhere Tonight”, and  “Cry Cry Cry”. Together they produced many albums and several hit singles. 

After extensive touring with artists as George Strait, Randy Travis, Hank Williams Jr. and The Judds, Paulette pulled back from the road and moved to beautiful Darby, Montana with her husband and young daughter.  

Paulette continued to write and record.  Her most devoted project was an album she produced called “It’s About Time”.  She dedicated it to her brother Gary, and all Vietnam Vets, with the song “Thank You Vets” as her brother served in Vietnam as a medic with the 82nd and 173rd. She was also honored to sing “Thank You Vets” at the Presidential candidate, Ross Pero’s “Welcome Home” event for our Vietnam Vets in 2005, in Branson, MO. 

One of Paulette’s more recent musical compositions, “Branded Soul” was inspired by the television series “Yellowstone”, which is filmed in her hometown of Darby, and is where the show’s “Dutton Ranch” is located. 

To this day, Paulette appreciates the gift God gave her. Her love of entertaining and singing for the folks inspires Paulette, and her music still drives on strong.


June 2, 2024

darby montana exteme bareback rodeo June 1-2, 2024

"Branded Soul"