Rich first attracted attention through the production team of Tim & Bob. The duo convinced Perri “Pebbles” Reid (then the wife of L.A. Reid, co-founder of LaFace Records) to listen to Rich over the phone. Rich eventually became a staff writer at LaFace Records, where he wrote songs for recording artists including Boyz II Men, Johnny Gill, TLC, and Toni Braxton. As incoming Vice President of A&R, Eddie F then convinced Reid to sign him as an artist. Later, Rich mixed elements of jazz, rock and soul music into his own tracks.
In January 1996 Rich released the hit single, “Nobody Knows”, which made it to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Under the moniker “The Tony Rich Project”, he released his debut album Words in early 1996. Both the album and single went platinum and in 1997, Rich won a Grammy Award for the Best R&B Album. The song was covered by country music artist Kevin Sharp in 1997, also as his debut single. The song “Like a Woman” was also nominated for a Grammy Award… Read more
The album was followed up in 1998 by Birdseye, which, while critically praised, failed to generate much commercial success. Rich seemingly disappeared from the music world for several years after this album’s release. That same year, he also commissioned a few remixes for the Spice Girls hit single “Viva Forever”.
In 2003, Rich returned with the album The Resurrected. Carrying a very different style, the album featured Rich rocking out on the guitar, as well as singing smooth ballads.
By 2006, Rich released a fourth album, Pictures. The album contains snapshots of a relationship, and is a return in style to his earlier works.
In 2008, he released his fifth album, Exist, through Hidden Beach Recordings. Originally it was set for release on September 16, however it was pushed back to September 23, 2008. The album features the download-only single, “Part the Waves”.
Somewhere in the early beginning of 2013 his sixth album will be out on Hidden Beach Recordings. It is called “Speak me”. A few tracks can be heard on the site of the music label. The lead single is called “Fade away”.
Rich portrayed the legendary Edward Duke Ellington in the 1997 crime drama Hoodlum.
01 – The Tony Rich Project – Gone Girl (Pictures, 2006)
02 – Tony Braxton – Come On Over Here (Secrets, 1996)
03 – The Tony Rich Project – Nobody Knows (Words, 1996)
04 – The Tony Rich Project – Blue Butterfly (Birdseye, 1998)
05 – The Tony Rich Project – Fade Away (Speak Me, 2013)
Background music during the interview:
The Tony Rich Project – Nobody Knows, Marvin Gaye – Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler), Boyz II Men – I Sit Away, The Deele – Eyes Of A Stranger, Boyz II Men – End Of The Road, Babyface – Lovers, The Tony Rich Project – Birdseye, The Tony Rich Project – Why U Wanna Keep Me From My Baby, The Tony Rich Project – Somethin’ About You, The Tony Rich Project – Quiet, The Tony Rich Project – Moving On