||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2008)|
|Birth name||Lari Michele White|
|Born||May 13, 1965|
|Origin||Dunedin, Florida, USA|
|Labels||Capitol, RCA, Lyric Street, Skinny WhiteGirl|
|Associated acts||Toby Keith, Travis Tritt|
Lari Michele White (//; born May 13, 1965) is an American country music artist and actress. She first gained national attention in 1992 as a winner on You Can Be a Star, a talent competition which aired on The Nashville Network. A recording contract with RCA Records Nashville followed a year later, producing three studio albums, a greatest hits package, and several chart singles. A fourth studio album was released in 1998 on Lyric Street Records, followed by two more releases on White's own label, Skinny White Girl. Overall, White has charted 12 times on the Billboard country music charts, with three of her singles having reached Top Ten: "That's My Baby" and "That's How You Know (When You're In Love)" at No. 10, and "Now I Know" at No. 5.
|This section requires expansion with: More biographical info. (November 2008)|
Lari Michele White was born May 13, 1965 in Dunedin, Florida. As a child, she sang in her family's gospel group, The White Family Singers, which comprised her parents, sister, and brother. White sang at talent contests and performed in a local rock band called White Sound as well. She later studied vocals and music engineering at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and while in college, she started to write her own music and perform in local clubs. She was a classmate of The Mavericks' Paul Deakin.
|This section requires expansion with: Critical reception, musical stylings. (November 2008)|
White made her first national appearance in 1988 on the talent show You Can Be a Star on The Nashville Network (now known as Spike TV), where she won first prize, which included a recording contract with Capitol Records. Although her debut single "Flying Above the Rain" received airplay in the Southern United States, it failed to chart and White was dropped from Capitol's roster without releasing anything else.
She later joined a publishing house owned by Ronnie Milsap and began to take acting lessons, eventually performing at local dinner theaters. After attending an ASCAP showcase in 1991, she was invited by Rodney Crowell to sing in his backing band. White was then signed in 1992 to RCA Records, releasing her debut album Lead Me Not a year later. The album, produced by Crowell, included three singles: "What a Woman Wants", the title track, and "Lay Around and Love on You". All three of these singles entered the Billboard country charts, and although none reached Top 40, the album peaked at No. 36 on the Top Heatseekers charts.
White's breakthrough album, Wishes, followed one year later. This was her most commercially successful album, producing three consecutive Top Ten country hits in "That's My Baby", "Now I Know", and "That's How You Know (When You're In Love)", which respectively reached No. 10, No. 5, and No. 10. The album was a No. 1 album on Top Heatseekers and No. 24 on Top Country Albums, and was certified gold by the RIAA for U.S. shipments of 500,000 copies.
Don't Fence Me In was the title of White's third RCA release, with the title track being a cover of the Cole Porter-written song made famous by The Andrews Sisters. Its lead-off single was "Ready, Willing and Able", which was previously recorded by Daron Norwood in 1995 as the title track to his second album. White's rendition of the song was a Top 20 hit in 1996, although the only other single from the album did not reach Top 40. In 1997, White also sang duet vocals on Travis Tritt's single "Helping Me Get Over You", a release from his album The Restless Kind. 1997 also saw White's final release for RCA, a greatest hits package called The Best of Lari White which reprised all of her singles to that point including the Tritt duet, as well as two newly recorded tracks, and the non-single "Itty Bitty Single Solitary Piece 'o My Heart", from her debut album.
White's third recording contract came in 1998 when she signed to Lyric Street Records. Her first release for the label was the single "Stepping Stone", which was also the title track to her fourth studio album. This song became not only a Top 20 country hit, but also her only entry on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at No. 73. Following it were "Take Me" at No. 32 and "John Wayne Walking Away" at No. 64. Also included on this album were two songs that would later become singles for other artists: "Only God (Could Stop Me Loving You)", which she recorded as a duet with Toby Keith, had previously been a cut on Billy Ray Cyrus's 1994 album Storm in the Heartland and would later become a minor hit in 2003 for the Canadian band Emerson Drive, while "Flies on the Butter" was also a minor hit in 2004 for Wynonna Judd, who recorded it as a duet with mother Naomi on her 2003 album What the World Needs Now Is Love. She debuted a cabaret production in 2007 called My First Affair.
White also appeared in the first and final scenes of the 2000 film Cast Away as "Bettina", the woman Tom Hanks meets who gives him road directions. After the film she placed her musical career on hiatus. She returned in 2004 with the self-released album Green Eyed Soul. She also co-produced four tracks on Billy Dean's 2004 album Let Them Be Little, and the entirety of Toby Keith's 2005 album White Trash with Money. White also co-wrote Sarah Buxton's late-2008 single "Space".
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|US Country||US||US Heat|
|Lead Me Not||
|Don't Fence Me In||
|The Best of Lari White||
|Green Eyed Soul||
|My First Affair (soundtrack)||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|US Country||US||CAN Country|
|1988||"Flying Above the Rain"||—||—||—||N/A|
|1993||"What a Woman Wants"||44||—||39||Lead Me Not|
|"Lead Me Not"||47||—||63|
|"Lay Around and Love on You"||68||—||72|
|1994||"That's My Baby"||10||—||23||Wishes|
|"Now I Know"||5||—||22|
|1995||"That's How You Know (When You're in Love)"||10||—||18|
|"White Christmas"||—||—||—||Country Christmas, Volume V|
|"Ready, Willing and Able"||20||—||14||Don't Fence Me In|
|1996||"Wild at Heart"||52||—||80|
|1998||"Stepping Stone"||16||73||10||Stepping Stone|
|1999||"John Wayne Walking Away"||64||—||—|
|2004||"Nothing but Love"||—||—||—||Green Eyed Soul|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|US Country||CAN Country|
|1997||"Helping Me Get Over You"||Travis Tritt||18||21||The Restless Kind|
|1993||"What a Woman Wants"||Joanne Gardner|
|"Lead Me Not"|
|1994||"That's My Baby"||Steven Goldmann|
|"Now I Know"|
|1995||"That's How You Know (When You're In Love)"|
|1996||"Wild at Heart"||Michael Salomon|
|"Another Broken Heart" (with Esera Tuaolo)|
|"Helping Me Get Over You" (with Travis Tritt)||Michael Merriman|
|1999||"Take Me"||Peter Zavadil|
|2005||"Nothing But Love"||Dani Jacobs|
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Lari White biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
- "Chuck Cannon". Broadcast Music Incorporated. 2000-04-30. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- "Happy New Year America 1994". The Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014.