Big & Rich Biography
Big & Rich are an American country music duo comprising Big Kenny (Kenny Alphin) and John Rich (formerly of Lonestar). They first performed together in 1998.
Martina McBride recorded Alphin and Rich's song "She's a Butterfly" in 2003, and Big & Rich landed a record deal a few months later. Their first album Horse of a Different Color (2004) reached number one in both the Billboard national chart as well as the Billboard country music chart. The most successful song from the album was the second single, the smash hit "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy." This song reached #11 on country radio, and received wider exposure when ESPN featured the song in commercials for its coverage of the 2004 World Series of Poker. Big & Rich also showcased this song in a country-rap music blowout to conclude a CMT awards show.
In 2004, Big & Rich shared a nationwide sell-out stadium tour with Martina McBride and Tim McGraw. Later that year, the duo embarked on the American Revolution Tour which they coheadlined with Gretchen Wilson and other members of their renegade group known as the MuzikMafia. A live version of the band covering Madonna's "Like a Virgin" has also made its way onto the web.
Their sophomore album, Comin' To Your City, was released on November 15, 2005. The single Comin' To Your City has grown to be their signature song; so much so that ESPN has utilized an altered version of it as the opening theme for their popular Saturday program College GameDay.
Big Kenny's solo CD from 1999, Live a Little, and John Rich's solo CD from 1999 Underneath The Same Moon were also released in 2005. Big Kenny and his wife, Christiev, welcomed a son on November 2, 2005. They named him Lincoln William Holiday and John Rich has been named his godfather. Big and Rich also co-headlined in the "Deuces Wild" tour with Brooks & Dunn and the Warren Brothers.
In 2006, Big & Rich released a single "The 8th of November" inspired by the story of Niles Harris. A subsequent documentary titled "The 8th of November: a true American story of honor" was released also, debuting on Great American Country television network over the July 4th weekend. The documentary tells the story of Niles Harris and shows the making of the music video for the single. The documentary was included in 48 tablet boxes of Prilosec OTC.
During a benefit concert held on October 9, 2006 in Atlanta, GA to raise money for the construction of the 173d Airborne Memorial, Big & Rich were awarded the status of Honorary Members of the 503d Infantry Division of the 173d Airborne Brigade. The concert will be the subject of a documentary on Great American Country in November 2006.
Although Big & Rich have many admirers from the more mainstream country genre (notably Martina McBride and Tim McGraw), they have been heavily criticized by those who feel that their kind of country music is destroying the genre completely. Generally, these critics come from Neotraditional Country sectors, as well as from country music's purists and elders.