Big & Rich gained fame with their massively successful anthem "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" in the mid 2000s. They've gone on to land more hits and have worked with artists Gretchen Wilson, Martina McBride and Tim McGraw. The duo took a short break at the end of the decade to record solo efforts which produced their first top 40 solo entries. With a new album expected in 2017, Big & Rich released the song "California" recorded by Tim McGraw in 2015 which is a tune they wrote. They are nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 2017 ACM Awards. Here are 5 things you didn't know about Big & Rich.
1. John Rich was a founding member of the group Lonestar
After graduating high school and moving to Nashville, John Rich met the band Texassee who would eventually rebrand themselves as their current name Lonestar. Rich played bass guitar and did background vocals and occasionally lead vocals. He left the group in 1998 and became a solo artist charting two singles. His album wouldn't be released until 2006, years after becoming the duo Big & Rich.
In 2009, Big & Rich took a hiatus to work on other projects including solo albums. Fans would approach them and make statements such as "I'm so glad you guys are back together" not realizing they only took a break. The duo never felt that they were broken up but were humbled they were missed during that time. Rich went on to win 2011's "Celebrity Apprentice" and they cut the song "Fake I.D." with Gretchen Wilson for the 2011 remake of "Footloose."
Big & Rich released their newest single "California" which is taken from the upcoming album Did It for the Party. It hit retailers on March 6 and it has a familiar sound. Tim McGraw recorded the track in 2015 for his album Damn Country Music. The song was actually written by John Rich, Rodney Clawson and Vicky McGhee and when McGraw heard the song through his guitar player, he begged Rich to let him cut the song. Big & Rich appear on the 2015 version of the song.
4. Rich has co-written hits for other artists
As a songwriter in his own group, John Rich has written songs for other artists that have gone on to be hits. His writing credits include Gretchen Wilson's debut "Redneck Woman," Jason Aldean's "Amarillo Sky," "Hicktown" and "Johnny Cash." Rich also penned Faith Hill's 2005 tracks "Mississippi Girl," "Like We Never Loved at All" featuring McGraw and "Sunshine and Summertime." Big Kenny wrote Tim McGraw's "Last Dollar (Fly Away)."
5. They have not won any major award (yet)
Though Big & Rich have released five major label studio albums, the duo has yet to knab any major award including in their country home genre. They were nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 2012 CMA Awards and in 2013, they were nominated for Top Vocal Duo at the ACM Awards and Duo Video of the Year at the CMT Music Awards. In 2017, they earned another nom for Vocal Duo of the Year.