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Lonestar's Richie McDonald leaves, band leaves label

Monday, March 19, 2007 – Lonestar lead singer Richie McDonald is leaving the band at the year of the year for a solo career, the group announced Monday. Lonestar also has left the RCA Label Group.

"The band has the opportunity to pursue other endeavors," a press released from the group said Monday.

Dean Sams, Michael Britt and Keech Rainwater are "eager" to announce their new lead singer and record label as they will continue to tour and produce music as Lonestar, the statement said.

"Life is about change. Lonestar has evolved over the 14 years we have been together. Michael, Keech and myself are excited about the challenges that lie ahead," said Sams. "As the founding member of Lonestar, one thing that has never changed is the fans that love great Lonestar, music, the fans remain. It seems like just yesterday John Rich left Lonestar to pursue an alternate career path and in that time of change, Lonestar remained and went on to sell over 10 million records, the fans remain. I then am reminded about the time Richie was out due to a back injury, and Josh Gracin filled in, and I realized again it is the music of Lonestar the fans love, they remain. Now, another change is coming for Lonestar, and we know the fans will love the music Lonestar will soon be bringing them. Lonestar music is for the fans we love and to them we remain, Lonestar."

The group will launch a full national tour in support of their latest release, "Mountains." "All members of the band are committed to fulfilling their obligations throughout the end of the year and are thrilled to do so," the statement said.

Britt said, "We are very proud of our work and success over the last 10-plus years and are thankful to our wonderful and supportive fans for always being there for us. Dean, Keech and I feel like we still have a lot of great Lonestar music to make and we are excited about this new opportunity to continue playing for our fans. Richie will be missed, and we wish him luck in his future endeavors."

Lonestar has enjoyed over a decade of success with hits such as "Amazed," "My Front Porch Looking In" (the most-played country song of 2003) and "I'm Already There."

More news for Lonestar

CD reviews for Lonestar

Never Enders CD review - Never Enders
For a band with as much success, Lonestar has never made it feel easy. There was a spurt at the end of the last century where they rattled off five Number Ones in a row - trademark songs like "Amazed," "What About Now" and "I'm Already There." Beyond that golden streak, there's a story of four different record labels, a Richie McDonald solo departure in 2007 and a whole lot of swings and misses. Part of their problem is one of identity, torn between wanting »»»
Life As We Know It CD review - Life As We Know It
With the release of its new album, Lonestar celebrates 20 years as a band. The band also welcomed original vocalist Richie McDonald back to the fold for its first full-length album in three years, and they released it through their own label. All of this is great news for fans of the band that since 1995 has sales in excess of 10 million album units and charted 18 Top 10 songs, including 9 number 1s. Lonestar has clearly found a formula for its music that reaches mainstream country and pop music »»»
Party Heard Around The World CD review - Party Heard Around The World
After so many years, most band's develop a sound that when you hear it, you say - "Ah, some REO Speedwagon" or "Swell, some Bee Gees." But when a band, known for a particular sound and a lead singer's voice, in particular, when that lead singer quits and the band presses on with a new singer, sometimes the transition simply doesn't work. Such is the case with Lonestar. This is a band that in recent years was pegged as a milquetoast, "sippy-cup country" »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Carlile warms hearts with empathetic thoughts – Brandi Carlile, dressed festively with a Santa hat, began her mid-week concert set with Joni Mitchell's "River" and closed with the carol "O Holy Night." In between, she sang about an equal measure of old and new songs. And on this first night of a short acoustic tour, Carlile was both in fine spirits and voice.... »»»
Concert Review: Daniels wears out bows, but music endures – After each of the first few songs Charlie Daniels played, his 'fiddle tech (?)' exchanged his bow. Is this because he was playing particularly hard? Perhaps. Whatever the case, Daniels and his five-piece band clearly appeared to be giving it their all during the act's hour-and-a-half set. As it is the Christmas month, Daniels sang a... »»»
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