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John Rich Named Songwriter/Artist Of The Year For An Unprecedented Third Time In A Row At The ASCAP Awards

John Rich Named Songwriter/Artist Of The Year For An Unprecedented Third Time In A Row At The ASCAP Awards

NASHVILLE – October, 13, 2007 - Ryman Auditorium, the mother church of country music, where songwriting legends have taken the stage, welcomed another one of its own last night to the country music history books. John Rich, mostly known for one-half of the multi-platinum duo, Big & Rich, was honored for the third year straight in the Songwriter/Artist of the Year category for his songwriting contributions on Big & Rich’s “8th of November,” Jason Aldean’s “Amarillo Sky” and “Why,” and Faith Hill’s “Sunshine & Summertime.” No other artist in the history of the ASCAP Awards has been awarded this honor three years consecutively.

Gretchen Wilson was on hand to announce the historic event to her longtime friend. "Gretchen put me on the map," said John. "I would not be standing here today if it wasn't for her. I remember her bartending at this club and going up on stage and belting out this song. It was the beginning of this amazing adventure I have been blessed to be on the last few years. Before that I was a two-time loser. I was kicked out of a band and dropped as a solo artist."

Originally part of the band Lonestar, John scored his first number one hit as songwriter on their single, “Come Cryin’ To Me.” Rich’s writing credits include the Academy of Country Music Award winning single of the year, “Redneck Woman,” along with Wilson’s other two hits “When I Think About Cheatin’” and “Here For The Party,” Hill’s smash single “Mississippi Girl,” and Aldean’s single, “Hicktown.” In addition, he has written several other cuts for Hill, Martina McBride, Clay Walker, Aaron Tippin, Cowboy Troy, and Shannon Brown.

Rich added, "Nashville has an unprecedented amount of talented songwriters. To have artists like Gretchen Wilson, Faith Hill and Jason Aldean perform songs I wrote is an incredible honor. You know, I was lucky enough to have a father who understood songwriting and the joy music can bring to people's lives. My father, Jim Rich, is here tonight. Not only did he teach me how to write, he let me sing in church on Sundays where he was the preacher. I got the best education from him."

“The night would not be complete until I thank this guy, Kenny Alphin. Kenny, thank you man,” said Rich. “Who would have ever guessed that the two of us would have this kind of success? Thank you for being a great friend and band mate."

In true songwriting fashion, John ended by telling a story about Connie Bradley and his jeans. "I went to Connie one day about six or seven years ago and said, 'Connie, I need $10,000.' She replied, 'You have a song coming out on radio?' I said, 'Not yet, but I think I will soon.' She said, 'I do too,' and she gave me the money. I then used that money to retire my Granny and help her set up a tiny alterations shop...these jeans I am wearing tonight were created by Granny Rich who is sitting right over there."

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