Though he's never had a substantial hit, Marty Brown won a devoted following among hardcore country fans thanks to his twangy, classic-style honky tonk and a nasal delivery straight from the hills of Kentucky. Specifically, Brown was raised in the small tobacco-farming town of Maceo, and started playing the local honky tonks at age 14. He later recorded a demo tape and hitchhiked to Nashville, where he was profiled on the news magazine 48 Hours and secured a contract with MCA.
His debut album, High and Dry, was released in 1991 and won fierce praise for its raw energy, wide musical range, and unrepentant hillbilly attitude. Afraid of being pigeonholed because of the latter, Brown moved into a more commercial sound for the 1993 follow-up, Wild Kentucky Skies; though it wasn't a hit, it helped continue to build Brown's fan base, as did his tour with Jimmie Dale Gilmore. 1994's Cryin', Lovin', Leavin' also failed to bring Brown to a wider audience, despite continued acclaim, and MCA parted ways with him afterwards. Brown signed with the independent label Hightone and debuted for them in 1996 with Here's to the Honky Tonks, which again was released to favorable reviews. 1
Marty Brown's wife tricked him into going to audition for the show. When he got there, his audition in Episode 801 consisted of singing "Make You Feel My Love" while playing the guitar. Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel all voted "Yes," sending him to the Vegas Round.
Marty Brown was sorted into the "Male Singers" category in the Vegas Round. His performance in Episode 809 consisted of singing Ronan Keating's "When You Say Nothing At All" while playing the guitar. Marty's audition was strong enough for the judges to send him to the Quarterfinals along with Dave Fenley in the same episode.
Marty Brown's Week 2 Quarterfinals performance in Episode 812 consisted of singing "You're Still The One." Despite negative comments from the judges, Marty received enough votes to be sent to the Semifinals in Episode 813 instead of Alexandr Magala and Ciana Pelekai.
Marty Brown's Week 2 Semifinals performance in Episode 822 consisted of singing his rendition of Rascal Flatts' "Bless the Broken Road" while playing the guitar. Marty did not receive enough votes to be sent to the Finals in Episode 823, eliminating him from the competition instead of Jimmy Rose.
- Marty Brown was the first singer and instrumentalist of Season 8 whose audition was televised