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Big & Rich

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Biography

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. In April 2017, the duo issued the single "California" in anticipation of the release of their sixth studio LP. Released on September 15, 2017, Did It for the Party debuted at two on Billboard's Country Albums chart. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)
  3.   Lost in This Moment
  4.   Brand New Buzz
  5.   Lovin' Lately
  6.   8th of November
  7.   Big Time
  8.   Wild West Show
  9.   Look at You
  10.   That's Why I Pray
  11.   Run Away with You
  12.   Comin' to Your City
  13.   Please Man by Wyclef Jean
  14.   Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S)
  15.   You Shook Me All Night Long
  16.   California
  17.   Holy Water
  18.   Deadwood Mountain
  19.   Party Like Cowboyz
  20.   Kick My Ass
  21.   Congratulations (You're a Rockstar)
  22.   The Bob Song
  23.   Fake ID by Gretchen Wilson
  24.   Rollin' (The Ballad of Big & Rich)
  25.   Take a Look
  26.   Jalapeño
  27.   Six Foot Town
  28.   Off Balance by Calico tha Beast
  29.   Eternity Intro by John Legend
  30.   Loud
  31.   Our America
  32.   Im Fresh by Lucky Luciano
  33.   Addikted
  34.   Saved
  35.   Issa Lick
  36.   We Came to Rawk
  37.   No Sleep
  38.   That Kind of Town
  39.   Don't Wake Me Up
  40.   Woodstock
  41.   Nobody Told Me
  42.   You Never Stop Loving Somebody
  43.   Slow Motion
  44.   Caught Up in the Moment
  45.   Soul Shaker
  46.   The Freak Parade
  47.   Rollin' Along
  48.   What I Look Like
  49.   Drinkin' 'Bout You
  50.   Like Me
  51.   Woke Up
  52.   Wwd Skit
  53.   Ain Trusting Em Bonus- Grind Hard featuring Sherro
  54.   Can She Make It Drip
  55.   There Suddenly Came
  56.   Dope Man Crazy
  57.   Intro by DJ Head Debiase
  58.   Freedom Road
  59.   I Came to Git Down
  60.   Thank God for Pain
  61.   Lose a Little Sleep
  62.   M-E-D-L-E-Y of the Hillbilly Jedi
  63.   Cheat On You
  64.   Born Again
  65.   You've Got to Fight for Your Right to Party
  66.   Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace
  67.   Filthy Rich
  68.   I Pray for You
  69.   Never Mind Me
  70.   Live This Life
  71.   Love Train
  72.   Real World
  73.   Wayy Back
  74.   Dreadhead Skit
  75.   Everybody Gon Ball
  76.   Yards
  77.   Fucc Love Fucc 12
  78.   Ayye Skit
  79.   Astraltravel
  80.   Ima Hustler
  81.   My Lil Freak
  82.   I KnoThe Feeling
  83.   Ride With Me
  84.   No Sirrr...Not Me
  85.   Certified Gz-tHug Nigga
  86.   Feel This
  87.   Mr Loudpacc
  88.   G.a.n.G.S.T.a.
  89.   Is You Bout That?
  90.   Itz Goin Down
  91.   Lie Cheat or Steal
  92.   My Son by The Isaacs
  93.   The Long Way Home
  94.   Funk in the Country
  95.   Wake Up Wanting You
  96.   Turns Me On
  97.   Smoke in Her Eyes
  98.   Did It for the Party
  99.   Gravity
  100.   Never Far Away
  101.   'Cause I Play Guitar
  102.   Get Your Game On
  103.   Can't Be Satisfied
  104.   Rock the Boat
  105.   Last Words
  106.   Lay It All On Me
  107.   Blue Christmas
  108.   The Man I Am Right Now
  109.   Find A Heart
  110.   Everybody's Rockin'
  111.   High Five
  112.   Radio
  113.   Faster Than Angels Fly
  114.   Blow My Mind
  115.   20 Margaritas
  116.   Leap of Faith
  117.   Never Been Down
  118.   Intro
  119.   When the Devil Gets the Best of Me
  120.   Give It to You Raw
  121.   Drop It featuring Mr Wired Up
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