John Rich

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John Rich
Rich performing in 2019
Rich performing in 2019
Background information
Born (1974-01-07) January 7, 1974 (age 49)
Amarillo, Texas, U.S.
OriginDickson, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, record producer
Instrument(s)Vocals, bass guitar, guitar
Years active1981–present
LabelsBNA, Warner Bros. Nashville, Reprise
Member ofBig & Rich
Formerly ofLonestar

John Rich (born January 7, 1974) is an American country music singer-songwriter. From 1992 to 1998, he was a member of the country band Lonestar, in which he played bass guitar and alternated with Richie McDonald as lead vocalist. After departing from the band in 1998, he embarked on a solo career on BNA Records in the late 1990s, releasing two singles for the label and recording Underneath the Same Moon, which was not released until 2006. In 2001, he self-released Rescue Me, an album he was inspired to record by a cancer patient named Katie Darnell. By 2003, he joined Big Kenny to form the duo Big & Rich, who released three albums on Warner Bros. Records as well as ten singles, including the Number One "Lost in This Moment". After Big & Rich went on hiatus in 2007, Rich began work on a third solo album, Son of a Preacher Man, which has produced two more chart singles. In 2011, Rich released two extended plays, Rich Rocks and For the Kids, before re-establishing Big & Rich in 2012.

Music career[edit]


John Rich was born on January 7, 1974 in Amarillo, Texas,[1] the son of Jim, a Baptist preacher, and Judy Overton Rich. John graduated from Dickson County Senior High in Dickson, Tennessee and after graduation moved to Nashville where he worked as a singer at Opryland USA. He wanted to be a professional team roper. Not long after, he met up with the group Texasee, which eventually changed its name to Lonestar. While in Lonestar, Rich was the bass guitarist and co-lead vocalist with Richie McDonald. Their 1996 single "Heartbroke Every Day" was the only one to feature Rich on lead vocals. Rich also co-wrote two of the band's singles: "Come Cryin' to Me" and "Say When", the former being a number-one single for the group. In January 1998, Rich departed from Lonestar, but was never officially replaced, causing Lonestar to continue as a four-piece band.[2] Afterward, Rich became a solo artist with BNA Records, the same label to which Lonestar was signed. He charted two singles for the label and recorded an album which did not see release until 2006. In 2001, he recorded and self-released Rescue Me, an album he was inspired to record after meeting cancer patient Katie Darnell.[3]

Big & Rich[edit]

Rich in 2010

Rich joined Big Kenny in 2002 to form the duo Big & Rich.[4] The duo recorded three studio albums for Warner Bros. Records: Horse of a Different Color, Comin' to Your City and Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace, in 2004, 2005 and 2007 respectively. These albums accounted for ten singles on the country charts, including the Number One "Lost in This Moment". Rich also co-wrote all of the duo's singles, primarily with Big Kenny. In the wake of Big & Rich's success, his 1999 solo album Underneath the Same Moon was issued via BNA, coinciding with the release of Big Kenny's previously-unreleased solo album Live a Little. A fourth Big & Rich studio album was released in the summer of 2012, with the inspiring "That's Why I Pray" reaching No. 15 on the country charts.

Work for other artists[edit]

During Big & Rich's success, Rich also worked as a songwriter and producer for other artists. His work included production for Gretchen Wilson, Keith Anderson, Jewel and John Anderson. In the same time span, he co-wrote multiple singles for other artists, including the Number One hits "Redneck Woman" for Wilson, "Mississippi Girl" for Faith Hill and "Why" for Jason Aldean.

He also has a co-write on Taylor Swift's 2008 album, Fearless, titled "The Way I Loved You".

In 2011, Rich recorded a song with heavy metal band Black Label Society, entitled "Darkest Days", featured on their compilation album, The Song Remains Not the Same.

In 2016, Rich added his voice to a duet with Marie Osmond on her album Music Is Medicine with the song titled "Love This Tough".

Son of a Preacher Man[edit]

In January 2009, Rich released his third solo single on Warner Bros. Records. The song, "Another You", is the lead-off single to Rich's second studio album, Son of a Preacher Man, which was released on March 24, 2009. He followed this song up with another single, "Shuttin' Detroit Down", recorded only one week before its release in January 2009. Rich promoted the song, which addresses the Chrysler and General Motors bailouts, at Michigan radio stations.[5] The song debuted at No. 34 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the chart week of February 14, 2009, becoming his first solo Top 40 hit and peaking at No. 12 in April. A third single, "The Good Lord and the Man", debuted at No. 59 on the country chart and peaked at No. 56 in July 2009.

Rich Rocks and For the Kids[edit]

Both Rich Rocks and For the Kids have only produced one single between them. Country Done Come to Town was released as a single from Rich Rocks in mid-2010 and was a minor chart success.

Television work[edit]

Rich performing "Raisin' McCain" at a John McCain campaign rally in O'Fallon, Missouri

In 2007, Rich hosted the first season of a reality show on Country Music Television called Gone Country, which featured celebrities such as Brady Bunch actress Maureen McCormick, singers Bobby Brown, Sisqo, Julio Iglesias Jr., Dee Snider, Carnie Wilson and American Idol runner-up Diana DeGarmo as they try to become songwriters with the help of Nashville songwriters as the celebrities are paired together with the songwriters. The show was filmed at the former home of Barbara Mandrell. He has hosted two more seasons since then.

Rich also served as a judge on the 2008 version of Nashville Star on NBC along with Jewel, singer-songwriter Jeffrey Steele, and host Billy Ray Cyrus.

Rich was a candidate in the 2011 season of The Celebrity Apprentice, which premiered on March 6. In episode 5, he lost as Project Manager for the men's team, Backbone. Despite the first loss, he later won 2 more tasks as Project Manager, raising $1,266,908 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Rich competed with Marlee Matlin in the live season finale, where he was declared the season winner, and received an additional $250,000 for his charity.

Rich served as a mentor in the 2012 reality/competition series The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep.[6]

Personal life[edit]

John Rich and his wife, Joan, married on December 6, 2008.[7]

Political activism[edit]

In the 2008 U.S. presidential race, Rich originally supported Fred Thompson.[8] He later released a campaign song on his website in support of presidential candidate John McCain in August 2008 called "Raisin' McCain".[9] He performed in the closing ceremony of the Republican National Convention on September 3, 2008. He endorsed the Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the special congressional election in Northern New York in 2009.[10] In 2010 he endorsed Zach Wamp for Governor of Tennessee and hosted parties at his Nashville home in support of Wamp's campaign.[11]

On April 7, 2015, Rich's song "Shuttin' Detroit Down" was featured in Senator Rand Paul's 2016 presidential campaign announcement.[12] He later declared his support for presumptive nominee Donald Trump following Paul's exit from the race.[13] Big & Rich would later perform at a pre-inaugural ceremony on January 19, 2017, after Trump's victory in the general election.[14] On May 30, 2019, he released "Shut Up About Politics" featuring presenters of the Fox News Channel programme The Five.

In 2020, Rich made headlines when he accused the Lipscomb Academy Dean of Intercultural Development Brittany Paschall[15] of racist "indoctrination". Students at the school were assigned to read the essay "Whose Story Is It?" which mentions white privilege.[16] This essay was written by Laurie Halse Anderson, a white woman. Rich claimed the essay could harm white children and claimed "racism does not exist at this school based on my experience there". Lipscomb Academy's adjacent university had previously faced allegations of racist events happening on campus.[17][18][19][20] Although she did not distribute the essay to the children, Brittany Paschall, the school's dean of intercultural development, was dismissed from her position in 2020 following this incident.[21][22][23][24]

In 2021, Rich spoke at the Tennessee State Capitol in favor of HB 2666. He accused teachers and librarians of grooming children and likened them to pedophiles.[25]

In 2023, Rich removed Bud Light from his Nashville bar as a protest against Bud Light's support of transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.[26]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart
US Country
Rescue Me
  • Release date: December 3, 2001[29]
  • Label: self-released
  • Formats: CD
Underneath the Same Moon 64
Son of a Preacher Man 3 16
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart
US Country

Rich Rocks 35
For the Kids
  • Release date: May 17, 2011
  • Label: Reprise Nashville
  • Formats: CD, music download
40 7
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
US Country
2000 "I Pray for You"A 53 Underneath the Same Moon
2001 "Forever Loving You" 46
2009 "Another You" 45 Son of a Preacher Man
"Shuttin' Detroit Down" 12 75 95
"The Good Lord and the Man" 56
2010 "Country Done Come to Town" 34 Rich Rocks
2019 "Shut Up About Politics"
(featuring The Five)
17 91
2020 "Earth to God"[36] 38
2022 "Progress"[37] 14 65 153
2023 "I'm Offended"[38] The Country Truth
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  • A "I Pray for You" also peaked at number 63 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.[39]

Featured singles[edit]

Year Single Artist Peak positions Album
US Country
2007 "Come to Bed" Gretchen Wilson 32 One of the Boys
2023 "End of the World"[40] Tom MacDonald TBA


Music videos[edit]

Year Title Director
1999 "I Pray for You" Shaun Silva
2009 "Another You" Deaton-Flanigen Productions
"Shuttin' Detroit Down"
2010 "Country Done Come to Town"

Guest appearances[edit]

Year Title Director
2007 "Come to Bed" (with Gretchen Wilson) Deaton-Flanigen Productions, Marc Oswald
2023 "End of the World" (Tom MacDonald Ft. John Rich) Nova Rockafeler


  1. ^ "John Rich Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved August 22, 2023.
  2. ^ "Character profile: John Rich". USA Networks. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  3. ^ "Reporter". Archived from the original on September 21, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  4. ^ Pruett, David B. (2010). MuzikMafia: From the Nashville Scene to the National Mainstream. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi.
  5. ^ McGraw, Bill. "John Rich's "Shuttin' Detroit Down" sizzling on country radio, Web". Motor City Journal. Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
  6. ^ "The Winner of The CW's "The Next" to Earn Recording Contract With Atlantic Records". The Futon Critic. July 3, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  7. ^ "Big & Rich's John Rich Marries Longtime Girlfriend". Access. December 7, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  8. ^ "Celebrity Political Donations: John Rich". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  9. ^ "Official site". Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  10. ^ "Country Music Star to Stump For Hoffman? Not Likely". October 2, 2009. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  11. ^ "John Rich Endorses Zach Wamp for Governor". Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  12. ^ Larson, Leslie. "Rand Paul's campaign announcement began with this anti-Wall Street country song". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  13. ^ "John Rich: I'm glad Trump is running for president". Fox News. June 23, 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  14. ^ Betts, Stephen L. "Big & Rich to Perform at Trump Inauguration Gala". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  15. ^ "Brittany T. Paschall named first dean of intercultural development". Lipscomb University. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  16. ^ "Whose Story Is it? WFMAD Day 30". August 30, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  17. ^ Arnold, Sky (October 24, 2016). "Lipscomb University facing criticism for a speaker connected to Black Lives Matter". WZTV. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  18. ^ "Former Vanderbilt athlete makes unflattering accusations about Lipscomb". Lumination Network. September 15, 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  19. ^ Dingle, Shannon (July 9, 2020). "When Christian Schools Decry Racism While Ignoring it Internally". Sojourners. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  20. ^ Bever, Lindsey (September 20, 2017). "A university president held a dinner for black students — and set the table with cotton stalks and collard greens". The Denver Post. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  21. ^ Benkarski, Ashley (January 30, 2020). "Nashville music star outraged over teaching of white privilege". The Tennessee Tribune. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  22. ^ "John Rich Is Angry About Lipscomb Academy's Dean of Intercultural Development". Nashville Scene. January 27, 2020. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  23. ^ Edmiston, Kelly. ""Same Song, Different Verse"". Jesus Creed | A Blog by Scot McKnight. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  24. ^ "Treatment Of Diversity Administrator Spurs Outcry At Lipscomb Academy". WPLN News - Nashville Public Radio. January 31, 2020. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  25. ^ "Country Star Compares Teachers to Pedophiles in Speech Backing Tennessee Book Ban". February 24, 2022.
  26. ^ Antonio, SBG San (April 8, 2023). "Country singer John Rich removes Bud Light from his Nashville bar after transgender deal". WOAI. Retrieved April 18, 2023.
  27. ^ "John Rich Album & Song Chart History – Country Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  28. ^ "John Rich Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  29. ^ "John Rich – Rescue Me". Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  30. ^ "Top Country Albums – Biggest Jump". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  31. ^ "Top Kids Albums – Biggest Jump". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  32. ^ "John Rich Chart History – Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  33. ^ "John Rich Chart History – Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  34. ^ "John Rich Chart History – Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  35. ^ "John Rich Chart History – Billboard Global 200". Billboard. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  36. ^[bare URL PDF]
  37. ^ O'Connell, Madeleine (July 28, 2022). "Listen: John Rich Slams President Joe Biden And More In Anti-Woke New Single 'Progress'". Music Mayhem Magazine. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  38. ^ Lorge, Melinda (August 23, 2023). "John Rich Releases New Song "I'm Offended" From Politically-Charged New Album, 'The Country Truth". Music Mayhem Magazine. Retrieved August 24, 2023.
  39. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada – Country Singles". RPM. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  40. ^ "John Rich teams with Tom MacDonald for 'End of the World'". March 17, 2023.

External links[edit]