Billy Bob Thornton Opens Another 'Door'

Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton is about to release his fourth album as a singer-songwriter. Scott Gries, Getty Images Entertainment hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Gries, Getty Images Entertainment

"Musician" isn't the job title most often associated with Billy Bob Thornton. He's far better known as a Hollywood actor and Oscar-winning screenwriter, not to mention a tabloid fixture during his ill-fated marriage to actress Angelina Jolie. But Thornton, 51, is about to release his fourth album as a singer-songwriter, Beautiful Door, which reasserts his status as a serious roots-rock musician — one who's unafraid to address his own specific foibles and missteps.

Thornton recently sat down to talk about his music, the jobs he held before becoming a successful actor, and his own obsessive-compulsive disorder, which he addresses on the new song "Always Countin'." He also describes his attempts to craft complete albums that tell a story from start to finish, regardless of how listeners hear music in a marketplace driven by iPods.

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