An American country-pop singer and songwriter.
As the name implies, all of Lonestar's members drifted into Music City from Texas. Dean Sams was working at the Country Music USA show at the Opryland theme park when he began rounding up musicians for a band. By late 1992, Sams had recruited singer-songwriter Richie McDonald and vocalist John Rich, as well as two former members of the band Canyon -- Michael Britt and Keech Rainwater.
Billed originally as Texassee, the band hit the road and performed more than 500 shows in 1993-94. Traveling in a Jeep Cherokee pulling an equipment trailer, the group did four or five sets a night. One of the performances was as the "house band" at the grand opening of the Wildhorse Saloon dancehall in downtown Nashville.
Lonestar promoted itself with a six-song live CD and a string of label showcases. After some near-misses, the band was offered a recording contract on BNA Records and its self-titled debut album produced a Top 10 hit, "Tequila Talkin'," in 1995.
Their second single, "No News," hit No. 1 in 1996 and remained there for three weeks. The Academy of Country Music named Lonestar its top new group of the year for 1995. "Runnin' Away With My Heart," co-written by Michael Britt, hit the Top 10. Billboard, Music Row and Country Weekly all gave year-end awards to the band. Their self-titled debut became a gold record.
Crazy Nights was issued as the second Lonestar album in 1997. "Come Cryin' to Me" became the act's second No. 1 single, and songwriters Bryan Adams and Mutt Lange provided yet another rhythmic hit with "You Walked In."
In 1998 Lonestar revealed a new dimension. Previously noted for its catchy up-tempo performances, the band issued "Say When" as its first ballad single. That song was followed by "Everything's Changed," co-written by Richie McDonald, which became yet another No. 1 hit.
Singer John Rich left the Lonestar in 1998 to pursue a solo career. The band and its advisors thought it would be too confusing for fans to have two lead singers.
Lonely Grill was issued as the band's third album, and the single "Amazed" flew to the top of the charts and stayed there for eight weeks in 1999, breaking records and catapulting the band to crossover stardom. "Amazed" also hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the same week the band's next single, "Smile," held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard country singles chart. Lonely Grill was certified multiplatinum in 2000, additional No. 1 hits from the album included "What About Now" and "Tell Her." They also released This Christmas Time at the end of the year.
Their magnificent career momentum continued into 2001 when "I'm Already There" spend six weeks at No. 1 at country radio. With its message of being away from the ones you love, the ballad especially touched a nerve after 9/11. Fueled by the No. 1 hit single "My Front Porch Looking In," the band released its Greatest Hits in 2003. Their 2004 album, Let's Be Us Again, led to another No. 1 hit, "Mr. Mom."
The band released Coming Home in 2005 and Mountains in 2006.