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