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Artist Edition: John Rich

August 21, 2008

John Rich…one man with one voice who has taken country music by storm is so many more ways than one. He has ups, he has downs, he has his credits, and he has his faults, but what do people really think about this man, this…genius.

In this modern world of country music it is no mystery that times are achangin’. John Rich has been there the whole time supervising it and becoming victimized by it as well. So I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the ups and downs behind one half of big and Rich that have stirred me to respect yet despise this individual man of country and I am hoping that you guys can help me out and share your thoughts of this country rocker as well.


John Rich began as a member of Lonestar before being fired. As a result he met up with his buddy Big Kenny and they became Big and Rich, thus the Muzic Mafia was born. This organisation has made great strides in country music by bring to life new sounds like Gretchen Wilson, James Otto, and of course Big & Rich and helping songwriters like Keith Anderson and Bobby Pinson earn their due credit as well. It even brought legend John Anderson back and helped Jewel transition of country. All this occured because John Rich wouldn’t give in. He struggled and became not only a great writer, but a talent performer along the way. He helped rise some stars that have defined the new age of this genre and has helped bring back to life many of those who have long left us. As a person and an artist he helped heal the hopelessness of many by losing his job and coming back to overshoot the nice great band that he was a part of for a short time. Those were the early years of John Rich. Sense then John has let some of his fame go to his head and his experience in he field has left him hotheaded and with a huge ego inflation.


Many saw John as a hero, as the man who would lead the way to a new age of country. advertising this was a bad idea. In more recent years the concept of his fame as a mover and a shaker in this world has stirred a new person from within him, a man who acts like he knows everything there is to know about the music business and can never go wrong and who knows the world and its people inside and out. He tried to start a show called Gone Country that took off and had the noble purpose of broadening the horizons of country stars by adding new ones, taken from the world of celebrities. However this show was the first sign that John was losing his touch with humility. He criticized many of the contestant for using a similar sound as his calling it “not country enough”. This resulted in a Spanish/country mix from the winner Julio Englasius Jr. who has sense fell immediately off the map. The new season has left people wondering, is this even worth it or does John really think he knows what he’s doing. Also John has been on Nashville Star, an otherwise fitting position for the well established producer. However he turned of American Idol contradicting how own previous comments to glorify “his” show and became overcritical. Most recently John has gone solo to give Kenny a break and has become a McCain supporter, which he has the right, but has released a tune called “Raising McCain” to support him and seemingly attempt yo glorify John as a major part of America’s mindset. In addition he has chosen to disgrace Johnny Cash by bringing him into this and making the political decision for a man who was as significant and level headed as the Rich from earlier years and is not around to make his own statement anymore. He did this in a desperate attempt to secure his position along side McCain and hopefully America.


Somewhere along the line John Rich found it necessary to take an unqualified lead in the race for country music’s next big influence. He has gone over the edge many times with his accusations and his movements and while much of his artistic work as a producer, a writer, and singer, and a performer is some of the most impressive, his social skills and his personal relations with America are now stained by statements and his heavy head. Rich has never been one to turn down free speech, in fact he glorified it speaking against gay marriage with only a small bit more respect for his fellow Americans as individuals as he has shown recently with McCain’s campaign. However taking this to another level and downsizing those who are better and have been proven better than him or his projects or taking the initiative to speak for a legend who is not around to defend such comments is way over the top of freedom, it is total control. So I personally miss the old John Rich, the one who was an artist and a genius, not this new politically active and overconfident airhead. He went from a musical hero and an eventual icon to a madman who seems to be overtaken by his own power and greatness.

So what do you think of Mr. John Rich?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Leeann Ward permalink
    August 21, 2008 9:54 pm

    This is pure speculation on my part, but I don’t know if the old John Rich was any less arrogant than the New one. I think that’s one of the reasons he ended up leaving Lonestar and I’ve heard Gretchen Wilson tell of how the two of them met. She said that she met this guy at a bar who talked big about how much he knew about the business, but really hadn’t accomplished anything yet. She said it in a “isn’t that cute” way, but I think it’s indicative of Rich’s arrogance existing all along. It just seems to be more evident now that he has the platform on which to prop himself up. Of course, I’m sure his fame has certainly contributed to increase his arrogance even further than it had probably already existed.

  2. Sam permalink
    August 25, 2008 12:36 am

    I find him an absolutely odious man. I don’t like what he’s done with country music (Gretchen Wilson, Jewel, Big and Rich), and found his opinions and manner on Nashville Star completely arrogant and obnoxious.

  3. Gail permalink
    August 25, 2008 4:32 pm

    I think John Rich and Gretchen Wilson are 2 of a kind! Two arrogant no talents.

  4. bobby permalink
    August 25, 2008 7:40 pm

    I think John Rich is extremely talented and has written some good songs (I like Amarillo Sky, Mississipi Girl and Redneck Women). I disliked his comments on Nashville Star and found them kind of hypocritical( the ones about not being country enough). I thinks it’s great that he states his opinions, but I think he could do it in a more respectful way.

  5. Leeann Ward permalink
    August 27, 2008 12:47 am

    While Rich can infuriate me, I think both John Rich and Gretchen Wilson have a ton of talent. I’d just like to see John use it better. I think he can, but chooses not to.

  6. Ranee permalink
    January 24, 2009 2:26 am

    I find him a bit nasty too. I like his music. May he has the little man syndrome. I knew a short man that acted just like Rich. Everyone said “Oh he has the little man syndrome, always trying to prove himself to everyone.”He was never wrong about anything so he thought. Rich reminds me of this person. I do think he is talented!!

  7. December 2, 2010 7:51 pm

    While we’re dabbling in the area of Artist Edition: John Rich Country Music Central, if applied correctly, it could be the only source of income you will ever need.

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