Sanders has penned a multitude of career-defining, award-winning songs and No. 1 hits for a slew of artists. Among these No. 1 hits are “Money in the Bank” (John Anderson), “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy” (Chris Ledoux & Garth Brooks), “It Matters to Me” (Faith Hill), “No News” (Lonestar), “Blue Clear Sky” (George Strait), “Daddy's Money” (Ricochet), “This Ain't No Thinkin' Thing” (Trace Adkins),.) “Bobbie Ann Mason” (Rick Trevino), “Walkin' To Jerusalem” (Tracy Byrd), “Heads Carolina, Tails California” (JoDee Messina), “I'd Rather Ride Around With You” (Reba McEntire), “Mirror, Mirror” (Diamond Rio) and the internationally successful, "I Hope You Dance" (Lee Ann Womack).
Three years ago, at the prompting of his longtime industry friend, Stephanie Cox, Sanders joined her young, independent publishing company, Larga Vista Music. After years with working with Sanders at both Starstruck and MCA, Cox knew the addition of his name to Larga Vista’s songwriter roster was truly unique and exciting. His talent would be one of the cornerstones upon which the new publishing venture could build itself.
With non-relenting hard work and bona fide talent, Sanders has been able to bring to fruition the ongoing, multi-faceted success that warrants elite status bestowed upon very few. A true veteran, he is both the teacher and the student of his craft. His genius keeps him in a position where he is consistently ahead of the curve in a musical sense, and this, in turn, has added to his appeal as a collaborator for young, new songwriters looking to gain experience and insight. For Sanders it’s a cycle of constantly striving to reinvent himself, his music and his writing.
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.
With almost three decades in the music business Mark Sanders has forged a resplendent career from his innumerable successes and accomplishments as a songwriter.
As one of the most respected and honored songwriters in Nashville, Sanders has compiled an extensively impressive list of hits that have yielded a career that is nothing short of amazing. Since his beginnings on Music Row, Sanders has accumulated a multitude of awards from respected publications including Nashville Songwriter’s Association International, Billboard Magazine, Music Row Magazine and American Songwriter Magazine. In addition to these awards, Sanders has also received numerous industry honors including four Country Music Association Triple Play Awards (three No. 1’s in a twelve month period), ASCAP’s 1997 Song of the Year, “No News” and Writer of the Year awards, the 2000 CMA Song of the Year for “I Hope You Dance” and the 2001 Grammy for Country Song of the Year, also for “I Hope You Dance.”
“Mark is the kind of writer who deserves to be worked for--through his unassuming ways, he pushes his team to work with him,” says Cox. “He has a distinctive way of motivating and guiding people…deliberately, yet subtly, challenging himself and those around him.”
Since joining Larga Vista, Sanders has been enjoying success with numerous cuts by major label artists including Josh Turner (“Loretta Lynn’s Lincoln”),
Joe Nichols (“That’s What Love Will Get You”), Jeff Bates (“Hands On Man”), Shawn Camp (“Waitin’ For The Day To Break,” “Hotwired” and “Tulsa Sounds Like Trouble To Me”), Kathy Mattea (“Hurt Some”) and Lori McKenna (“Leaving This Life” and “Drinkin’ Problem”).
Sanders has been able to expand upon his brilliance as a songwriter and allow it to translate, quite lucratively, to other mediums. The astounding success of “I Hope You Dance” inspired a book by the same name, penned by Sanders and fellow songwriter Tia Sillers. Sanders has since authored three more books, one of which is a children’s book, all focusing on themes of inspiration, hope and joy.
As one of ASCAP’s and Nashville’s most celebrated songwriters and creative forces, Sanders is continuing to plug away as if the golden career he’s already achieved is something that is still looming on the horizon in front of him. He’s pushing on toward greatness while the title is already upon him.
“Mark is absolutely one of the most extraordinary songwriters I’ve ever had the privilege to work with,” Cox says. “I’ve had some great teachers and mentors, but he’s been the greatest.