Lonestar

  • Country group formed in 1992 from Nashville Tennessee. Founding members were Richie McDonald (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards, songwriting), Michael Britt (guitars, backing vocals), Dean Sams (keyboards, harmonica, acoustic guitar, backing vocals), Keech Rainwater (drums), and John Rich (bass guitar, lead and backing vocals – Rich left in 1998 to form the group Big & Rich).
  • The members of the band met while working at the Opryland USA theme park in Nashville. Prior to that, Rainwater and Britt were members of the country band Canyon, which released 2 albums in 1988 and 1989 and had 9 singles that charted on the Hot Country Songs chart. While at Opryland USA, the 5 members formed a band, calling themselves Texassee, since all 5 of them originally were from Texas. Their first concert as Lonestar was in January 1993, and a booking agent was impressed with their performance. He booked the band to nearly 500 concerts over the next 2 years. In 1994, they signed a recording contract.
  • Lonestar’s debut recording was an EP released in 1995, titled Lonestar Live, and later that year, their first full length studio album was released, the self titled Lonestar. Three singles from the album made it into the top 10 of the Hot Country Songs chart, with No News topping the chart. Their next album, Crazy Nights, was released in 1997, and they scored their second #1 song with Come Cryin’ To Me, while Everything’s Changed peaked at #2. Both of these albums had more of a traditional country music sound to them. Following the release of Crazy Nights, Rich left the band to pursue a solo career, which soon morphed into the band Big & Rich.
  • With Rich’s departure, Lonestar’s became a four-piece act, and their sound evolved to more of a country pop style. They released the album Lonely Grill in 1999, and it became their best selling record, reaching #3 on the country album chart and selling over 3 million copies in the U.S. Four songs from the album reached #1 on the country chart – Amazed, Smile, What About Now, and Tell Her. Amazed also hit #1 on the Hot 100 chart – one of only two country songs to top the Hot 100 during the decade of the 00s (Carrie Underwood’s Inside Your Heaven is the other), and the first country song to top the Hot 100 since 1983 (Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s Islands In the Stream). 
  • Four studio albums were released by the band from 2001 to 2006. Three songs topped the country chart – I’m Already There, My Front Porch Looking In, and Mr. Mom. By 2007, their success was waning, and they were dropped by their record label. McDonald left the group to pursue a solo career, and Cody Collins was hired to replace McDonald. Collins handled vocals on a Christmas album, and on a studio album released in 2010. By 2011, Collins left and McDonald returned to the group.
  • With McDonald back handling lead vocals, Lonestar released albums in 2013 and 2016. Together for over 25 years now, they continue to perform throughout the U.S. and Canada. Here is the video to their beautiful signature song, Amazed.

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