Lovett was born in North Harris County, Texas, in the community of Klein, the son of William Pearce and Bernell Louise (née Klein) Lovett, a marketing executive and training specialist, respectively. He was raised in the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Lovett attended Texas A&M University, where he studied German and journalism. It is a common misconception that Lyle and Robert Earl Keen were roommates at A&M. They were not. However, they lived near each other in College Station, became good friends, and wrote "The Front Porch Song" together, which both went on to record. Lovett's music career began as a songwriter, but he soon signed with MCA Records in 1986 and released his eponymous debut album. While typically associated with the country genre, Lovett's compositions often incorporate folk, swing, blues, jazz and gospel music as well as more traditional country & Western styling. He has won four Grammy Awards, including Best Country Album (1996 for The Road to Ensenada), Best Country Duo/Group with Vocal (1994 for "Blues For Dixie" with the Texas swing group Asleep at the Wheel), Best Pop Vocal Collaboration (1994 for "Funny How Time Slips Away" with Al Green) and Best Country Male Vocal (1989) for Lyle Lovett and His Large Band). Lovett has acted in a number of films, including Robert Altman's films: The Player (1992), Short Cuts (1993), Prêt-à-Porter (1994), Cookie's Fortune (1999), and composed for Dr. T & the Women (2000). More recently, he has acted in The New Guy (2002) and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007). His television acting forays include Mad About You, Brothers & Sisters, Castle (TV series), and Dharma & Greg. Lovett was given an award called an "Esky" for Surest Thing in Esquire's 2006 Esky Music Awards in the April issue. The magazine said of Lovett: "The secret of Lyle Lovett's endurance comes down to the three C's: class, charisma and consistency... In the studio and on stage with his giant orchestra, he's spent two decades gracefully matching genuine songcraft with A-list musicianship". Lovett primarily plays Collings acoustic guitars. In 2010 Lovett appeared on an episode of Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... which also featured John Prine and Ray LaMontagne. Lovett has recently contributed a cover of Buddy Holly's "Well... All Right" for the tribute album Listen to Me: Buddy Holly, released on September 6, 2011.