Lonestar Basic Facts:
Original band included Richie McDonald, John Rich, Dean Sams, Keech Rainwater, and Michael Britt. In 1998, John Rich exited the group, and the quintet became a quartet. In 2007, lead singer Richie McDonald left the group, and the band sought out a new lead singer. They found him in Cody Collins, and along with Dean, Michael and Keech, they are the Lonestar of today.
Lonestar was originally called "Texassee" from the fact that the five original members were all from Texas and met in Tennessee.
Richie McDonald wrote quite a few of the band's songs more recently, but also wrote "Everything Changed," and "When Cowboys Didn't Dance" from the band's early years. Some of his later contributions include the smash "I'm Already There," "My Front Porch Looking In," "Let's Be Us Again," and "Mr. Mom."
John Rich wrote the early hit "Come Cryin' to Me," and "Say When."
Michael Britt wrote the early hit "Running Away with My Heart."
Alabama, The Eagles, Restless Heart
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Some of Lonestar's Biggest Hits:
- "What About Now"
- "No News"
- "I'm Already There"
- "Come Cryin' to Me"
- "Mr. Mom"
The band Lonestar originated in 1992 with group members Richie McDonald, John Rich, Dean Sams, Michael Britt and Keech Rainwater. Hailing from Texas, they originally decided to name the group "Texassee" for their home state, and their new home in Nashville, Tennessee, but quickly changed it to Lonestar.
The band toured together, first playing in Nashville in 1993, and by 1994, they were signed to BNA Records, where they released their self-titled debut album in 1995. Their first single from the album, "Tequila Talkin'" reached No. 8 on Billboard's charts, and the album also spawned the group's first No. 1 song, "No News."
The second album the band released was Crazy Nights in 1997, which produced another No. 1 with "Come Cryin' To Me," and three other Top 15 singles, including the No. 2 hit, "Everything's Changed."
John Rich exits the group
In 1998, John Rich left the group to pursue a solo career, and Richie became the only lead singer. And the band saw its greatest success with their third album, Lonely Grill, released in 1999. The lead single, "Saturday Night" didn't go very far, but the next single would be the band's first crossover hit. That song was "Amazed." The song spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the charts, and would eventually become a No. 1 pop song as well.
The millennium was good for the group as well, and they released I'm Already There, with the title track becoming another monster hit, and their Greatest Hits collection, From There to Here: Greatest Hits.
Richie McDonald leaves the band
In early 2007, lead singer Richie McDonald announced that he was leaving the band to pursue a solo career. The other three members had to debate whether to try to replace him, or just split up. They opted to look for a new lead singer, and enter Cody Collins, who was introduced at a Nashville Showcase in September 2007.
The newly formed Lonestar released a Christmas project, My Christmas Wish, with Cracker Barrel as their first release with Cody as lead singer.
Lonestar in 2008 and Beyond
Today, the band is finishing up their debut album, that will be released independently, and they just released their first single with Cody singing lead, called "Let Me Love You." The sound is similar, yet different. Fans that loved the band with Richie, will most likely still enjoy the new music, as it has a similar style to what Lonestar has put out before, but with a new energy with Cody Collins in the band.