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Rice first came into the public's eye in 2010, when he was a contestant on the TV show Survivor: Nicaragua; he eventually finished second. He released a six-song EP, Country as Me, in 2011, following it up with the full-length Dirt Road Communion a year later. They performed well on the charts, but it was a writing opportunity, "Cruise," by Florida Georgia Line, that really propelled his career forward; initially released in mid-2012, it spent over a year in heavy rotation, topping the country charts for many weeks and reaching number four on the overall chart.
Rice signed to Columbia Nashville and released his major-label debut, Ignite the Night, in August 2014; it debuted at number one on the country charts, and sent one single, "Ready Set Roll," into the country chart's Top Five. Another country Top Ten, "Gonna Wanna Tonight," followed in 2014 and Rice spent the next year recording a new album. "Whisper," the first song from these sessions, appeared in early 2016.
After a number of delays, including a switch from Columbia to Broken Bow Records, Rice's fourth LP, Lambs & Lions, saw release in November 2017. It debuted at number six on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. A deluxe edition of Lambs & Lions arrived in 2019. That same year, Rice appeared as a guest on the reality show The Bachelor, playing a private concert for bachelor Peter Weber and his date, Victoria Fuller, whom Rice had previously dated. The drama-laden episode aired in January 2020, just as the singer released his next project, The Album, Part 1. ~ Steve Leggett