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Big & Rich

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A pair of gonzo country showmen initially shunned by the Nashville mainstream but eventually becoming the face of Music City as the 2000s drew to a close, Big & Rich were the most unlikely country success story of the new millennium. They didn't appear from nowhere, but when Horse of a Different Color exploded in 2004, it sure seemed like they did, memories of John Rich's time in Lonestar vanishing, along with any trace of Big Kenny's years struggling on the fringes of major-label studios. In its place was something cheerfully, grotesquely super-sized, happy to revel in a bad taste that camouflaged exactly how eclectic the duo was, how Big & Rich happily pushed hip-hop braggadocio into their rocking country, building their music on chant-along sports anthems and ballads, the former showcasing their humor, the latter their sentimentality. Soon after "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" because a smash, Big & Rich started firing out hits, not just as performers but as writer/producers, turning Gretchen Wilson into a star, assisting in John Anderson's comeback, and supporting novelties like country-rapper Cowboy Troy. Their oversized, out-of-control train steamrolled throughout the back half of the '90s, with Rich slowly ingratiating himself in the establishment -- appearing as a judge on Nashville Star, the country American Idol knockoff -- and Big Kenny once again turning toward the fringes, only this time working with the added benefit of being able to have his music be heard. If Big & Rich seemed like an ungainly match, it's because they came from quite different backgrounds: Rich taking the traditional Music City path via Lonestar, and Big Kenny Alphin working as a pro songwriter, dabbling in both country and rock. They paired up in 1998, starting a regular performing group called the MuzikMafia, which appeared at a Nashville club on a regular basis for several years. Big & Rich worked on new material, both as a team and separately, building a reputation that started to crest in 2003, when Martina McBride recorded their "She's a Butterfly." Soon, the duo signed with Warner Nashville, which released their first single, "Wild West Show," early in 2004 with the full-length Horse of a Different Color appearing that spring. Thanks to the near-novelty "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)," a boisterous blend of rockin' country and old-school rap, the album turned into something of a phenomenon and Big & Rich were ready to seize this opportunity, pushing themselves and their MuzikMafia. First out of the gate was Gretchen Wilson, whose 2004 debut, Here for the Party, was produced by Rich, who also wrote many of the songs, including its hit "Redneck Women." The group's country rapper comrade Cowboy Troy was next in line, releasing his debut in 2005. By the time Big & Rich released their sophomore album, Comin' to Your City, in time for the holiday season of 2005, they were dominating country music, with Rich in particular popping up all over the place, producing John Anderson's comeback and judging Nashville Star. Comin' to Your City showed signs of Big & Rich turning their schtick into formula, but the record went into the Top Ten and had several hits. The group's momentum didn't slow until 2007, when their third album, Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace, performed only respectably. Big & Rich decided to devote 2009 to solo projects, with Rich's Son of a Preacher Man appearing in the spring and Kenny's Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy in the fall, followed by a hits collection of the group's first three albums. The duo reunited in 2012 as Big & Rich for their fourth studio album, Hillbilly Jedi, which featured a pair of songs co-written with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi was also instrumental in getting clearance from George Lucas to use the term "Jedi" in the album title). Hillbilly Jedi didn't do much on the charts; it entered Billboard's country charts at four and the Billboard 200 at 25, and only the lead single, "That's Why I Pray," made waves, with the subsequent singles failing to crack the Top 40. The duo quickly returned to the studio, working on their fifth album throughout 2013. By the time 2014 arrived, Big & Rich severed ties with Warner and started their own label, also called Big & Rich. The first release on the label was the single "Look at You," which appeared in early 2014 and went into the Billboard Country Top 20. The full-length Gravity saw the comedic duo opting for a softer, melodic direction; it was released in September 2014. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Albums by
Big & Rich

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    12 songs

    On Air

    Hillbilly Jedi

    21 songs

    On Air

    Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace

    13 songs

    On Air

    Horse of a Different Color

    5 songs

    On Air

    #Throwback: Beginning of the End EP

    15 songs

    On Air

    Comin' to Your City [15 Tracks]

    1 song

    On Air

    Run Away With You

    1 song

    On Air

    Thank God for Pain

    1 song

    On Air

    Brand New Buzz

    1 song

    On Air

    Fake ID (feat. Gretchen Wilson)

    1 song

    On Air

    Blue Christmas

    1 song

    On Air

    Loud

    1 song

    On Air

    Lost In This Moment [Wedding Instrumental Version]

    16 songs

    On Air

    Big & Rich's Super Galactic Fan Pak

    15 songs

    On Air

    Greatest Hits

    10 songs

    On Air

    Greatest Hits

    11 songs

    On Air

    Gravity

    3 songs

    On Air

    Super Galactic Fan Pak 2

    4 songs

    On Air

    Unplugged: At Studio 330

    1 song

    On Air

    Look at You

    1 song

    On Air

    That's Why I Pray

    1 song

    On Air

    Lost in This Moment

    1 song

    On Air

    8th Of November

    1 song

    On Air

    Nevermind Me

    1 song

    On Air

    Comin' to Your City [Single]

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Big & Rich

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)
  3.   Lost in This Moment
  4.   Lovin' Lately
  5.   Look at You
  6.   8th of November
  7.   That's Why I Pray
  8.   Big Time
  9.   Wild West Show
  10.   Fake ID by Gretchen Wilson
  11.   Comin' to Your City
  12.   You Shook Me All Night Long
  13.   Our America
  14.   Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S)
  15.   Kick My Ass
  16.   Holy Water
  17.   Party Like Cowboyz
  18.   Deadwood Mountain
  19.   Run Away with You
  20.   Loud
  21.   Rollin' (The Ballad of Big & Rich)
  22.   Don't Wake Me Up
  23.   Real World
  24.   You Never Stop Loving Somebody
  25.   Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Big & Rich

    On Air

    Country Hits

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    Top 50 Country Songs of 2014

    On Air

    55 Greatest Country Songs of the Century

    On Air

    She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy

    On Air

    Country 4th Of July

    On Air

    Party Country

    On Air

    Cruisin' Country

    On Air

    Country: '90s and Today

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    Tim McGraw: DNA

    On Air

    Florida Georgia Line: DNA

    On Air

    Jason Aldean: DNA

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    New Country

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    Outlaw Country

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    Dierks Bentley: DNA

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    Hank Williams Jr.: I Am The DJ

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    AC/DC: DNA

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    Florida Georgia Line: I Am The DJ

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    Country Love

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    Motley Crue: DNA

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    Garth Brooks: DNA

    On Air

    Country Summer


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