Chris Rice

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Chris Rice
OriginClinton, Maryland, United States
GenresCCM, folk
Years active1996–2007, 2018–present
LabelsRocketown, Eb+Flo, Clumsy Fly

Chris Rice is an American singer and songwriter who works in the contemporary Christian music, contemporary folk and adult contemporary genres. He became a recording artist as well in 1996 after signing a contract with Rocketown Records and releasing his debut album, Deep Enough to Dream.


Early years[edit]

Chris Rice, a native of Clinton, Maryland, grew up as the second of four sons born to bookstore owners. His parents, and other adult mentors, influenced Rice's Christian faith and his early work with youth and college students.

Having taken only three years of piano lessons as a child, Rice did not aspire to a career in either music or student work. But frequent invitations to speak and lead music at his church's youth group events led to more such invitations throughout his college years at the University of Maryland, Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, and Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Communication.[1] While leading music and coaching high school soccer teams he began writing songs. What began as weekend and summer work with youth and college students soon turned into a full-time career during his twenties and thirties, and prompted Rice to write and perform mainly on the guitar.

For those two decades, Rice spent his time as an itinerant speaker and songwriter/musician, playing for high school and college conferences and camps nationwide. This schedule prepared Chris for his career as a signed recording artist, touring the country with a full band.

Career as a songwriter[edit]

Rice's songwriting career began in the mid-1980s, after moving from his Washington, D.C., home to Nashville, Tenn. During that period several of Rice's songs were recorded by other artists, including Kathy Troccoli and Terri Gibbs. Rice's "Welcome to Our World", an original Christmas song since recorded by Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant and John Tesh, moved Smith to urge his new label, Rocketown Records, to sign Rice as its first artist in 1996.[citation needed]

Solo artist[edit]

With the help of Monroe Jones' production skills, Chris Rice recorded Deep Enough to Dream for a September 1997 release. Past the Edges followed a year later. Rice's third album, Smell the Color 9, was issued in late 2000.

In 2001, Rice released two piano-only, instrumental releases, The Living Room Sessions and The Living Room Sessions: Christmas, recorded on Rice's own living room grand piano.[citation needed]

His sixth album, Run the Earth... Watch the Sky, released in March 2003, Chris again joined the production talents of his longtime friend and collaborator Monroe Jones.[citation needed] The album's first single was "The Other Side of the Radio".[citation needed]

These four studio releases (plus the two instrumental releases) fulfilled Rice's contractual commitment to Rocketown[citation needed] and they issued several compilation albums, Short Term Memories and Snapshots: Live and Fan Favorites, following his departure in June 2004 and February 2005 respectively.[citation needed]

New record label[edit]

Rice signed with independent label Eb+Flo Records, and made a marketing and distribution agreement with INO Records who had distribution through Sony/Columbia removed the limitation of catering his music to Christian radio formats.[citation needed]

His fifth studio album, Amusing, released in August 2005.[citation needed] For the first time in his career, Rice released radio singles to AC and Light Rock stations around the country, the first single being a light romantic song entitled "When Did You Fall (In Love With Me?)" which reached No. 8 on the Pop AC radio format and enjoyed Top Ten status throughout the middle of 2006.[citation needed] A second AC hit, "Lemonade", began climbing the AC chart in 2007.[citation needed]

With his success on the AC radio format, Rice released a side project hearkening back to his roots, a vocal hymns album, Peace Like a River: The Hymns Project, in November 2006.[citation needed]

Rice released What a Heart Is Beating For in July 2007, further positioning him as a pop artist. Only 2 of its 13 songs contained overt faith themes.[citation needed]


  • Live By Faith (1992)
  • Deep Enough to Dream (1997)
  • Past the Edges (1998)
  • Smell the Color 9 (2000)
  • The Living Room Sessions (Instrumental) (2001)
  • The Living Room Sessions: Christmas (Instrumental) (2001)
  • Run the Earth... Watch the Sky (2003)
  • Short Term Memories (Greatest Hits) (2004)
  • Snapshots: Live and Fan Favorites (2005)
  • Amusing (2005)
  • Peace Like a River: The Hymns Project (2006)
  • What a Heart Is Beating For (2007)

EPs and other releases[edit]

  • Merry Chris Rice (2005) (digital download)
  • When Did You Fall (Cozy Version) (2007) (digital download)


  • "Christmas Party (Radio Single)
  • "Deep Enough To Dream"
  • "Smile"
  • "Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus)"
  • "The Other Side of the Radio"
  • "Cartoons"
  • "Love Like Crazy"
  • "When Did You Fall (In Love With Me)"
  • "Lemonade"
  • "Sad Song"


  • 1998 – Nominated for six Dove Awards, including New Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year[2]
  • 1999 – Dove Award winner for Male Vocalist of the Year and for participation in Special Event Album of the Year – Exodus
  • 2000 – Dove Award nominee for Recorded Music Packaging
  • 2002 – Dove Award nominee for Instrumental Album of the Year – Living Room Sessions: Hymns


  1. ^ Bio from Rice's website
  2. ^ " Gospel Biography". July 13, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2013.

External links[edit]