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Needtobreathe performing in 2015
Needtobreathe performing in 2015
Background information
OriginSeneca, South Carolina, U.S.
Years active1998–present
Past members
  • Joe Stillwell
  • Bo Rinehart

Needtobreathe (stylized as NEEDTOBREATHE) is an American Rock band from Seneca, South Carolina, United States.[1] The band is composed of Bear Rinehart (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Seth Bolt (backing vocals, bass) and Josh Lovelace (backing vocals, keys). To date they have released seven studio albums: Daylight (2006), The Heat (2007), The Outsiders (2009), The Reckoning (2011), Rivers in the Wasteland (2014), Hard Love (2016),[2] and Out of Body (2020).


Beginnings (2001–2006)[edit]

Brothers William Stanley "Bear" Rinehart III and Nathaniel Bryant "Bo" Rinehart were raised in Possum Kingdom, South Carolina. The brothers started performing in Seneca after moving there.[3][4][5] The Rinehart brothers grew up at a church camp that their father, who was a pastor, ran.[6] The brothers first performed in front of coffee house audiences at Furman University, where Bear, who was named after University of Alabama football coach Bear Bryant, was a wide receiver for the Furman Paladins football team, winning the 2002 Banks McFadden trophy for South Carolina football player of the year.[7] After graduation, Bear, Bo and Joe Stillwell joined with Seth Bolt, releasing independent albums that were recorded in Bolt's Plantation Studios.[8]

The name of the band is based on a Greek demonstrative parable of Socrates related to seeking God, and Bo Rinehart indicated that it was better than other names that the band had at the time.[9]

In 2001, the band independently released an eleven-song album, The Feature.[10] In 2003, they released a three-song EP: Soulrock Review.[11] In 2004, they followed with two four-song EPs: Fire and Turnaround.[10] These brought the band to the attention of Lava Records, owned by Universal Music Group, who signed the band in 2005.[3][4]

After signing with both Atlantic Records and Sparrow Records, the band went to the UK to record their first studio album, Daylight, with producer Andy Green.[12] Its first radio single "You Are Here", previously released on the Fire EP in 2004, was released early in 2006.[12] Just prior to their debut release, the band was featured on the cover of CCM Magazine—an unprecedented new artist endorsement by the national publication.[13] Daylight was released on April 4, 2006.[14]

The Heat (2006–2008)[edit]

Brothers Bo and Bear Rinehart in September 2007

Needtobreathe started pre-production for their second studio album The Heat in late 2006.[15] In 2007, the band started a six-month recording period at Rick Beato's Black Dog Studio and at Paul Diaz's Tree Sounds in Atlanta.[15][16] The Heat was released on August 28, 2007 through Atlantic Records and Word Entertainment.[17]

In 2008, Needtobreathe was nominated for two Dove Awards at the 39th GMA Dove Awards. Their song "Signature of Divine (Yahweh)" received a nomination for "Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year", and The Heat was nominated for "Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year".[18] In 2009, Needtobreathe's song "Washed by the Water" was nominated and won the Dove Award for "Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year". Marisa Brown, writing at AllMusic and Billboard, has referenced this album in helping to "establish the band as one of Christian rock's most successful newcomers."[3][4]

"More Time" was included on the soundtrack for the 2007 film P.S. I Love You.

The Outsiders and The Reckoning (2009–2013)[edit]

The band's third album, The Outsiders was released on August 25, 2009,[19] peaking at number 20 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on the Hot Christian Albums. The first single for the album, "Lay 'Em Down", peaked at number 4 on the Hot Christian Songs chart. The single "Something Beautiful" peaked at number 12 on the Triple A chart and number 6 on the Hot Christian Songs chart. "Hurricane" peaked at number 29 on the Alternative chart, their first success at Alternative radio. The title song of the album, "The Outsiders", peaked at number 11 on the Triple A chart.

The album The Reckoning was released on September 20, 2011, peaking at number 6 on the Billboard 200.[20] "Slumber" was the album's first single and peaked at number 26 on the Christian rock charts while "Drive All Night" is the album's second single.[citation needed] The band went on tour with Taylor Swift as a featuring opening act on her Speak Now World Tour in 2011.[21]

On December 17, 2013, Eric Ryan Anderson released his film Prove the Poets Wrong, chronicling the band's 2013 tours and revisiting their origins, on YouTube.[22]

Rivers in the Wasteland (2014–2015)[edit]

Rivers in the Wasteland was released on April 15, 2014,[23] debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, No. 1 on the Christian Albums chart, No. 1 Rock Album,[24] and No. 6 on the Canadian Albums Chart,[25] and selling 49,000 copies in its first week.[24] Originally set to be titled "Wasteland",[26] the album takes its name from Isaiah 43:19.[27]

In 2014, longstanding conflict between Bear and Bo Rinehart escalated into a fistfight that sent one of the brothers to the hospital. Following this altercation, the brothers apologized to each other and reaffirmed that their relationship was more important than music.[28][29]

In 2015, the band toured Australia with Third Day,[30] before headlining their first North American tour across 40+ cities,[31] touring with Ben Rector (leg 1), Switchfoot (leg 2), Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, and Colony House.[32]

Hard Love (2016–2019)[edit]

On April 1, 2016, the band announced their sixth studio album, Hard Love, and its release date of July 15, 2016. Additionally, dates for the band's 2016 tour, Tour De Compadres, were announced and the album's lead single, "Happiness", was released along with another single, "Money & Fame".[2] Hard Love debuted at No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart and at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 50,000 units sold, of which 46,000 were in traditional album sales, becoming the band's highest-charting album.[33]

In January 2017, Needtobreathe opened the Needtobreathe OneWorld Health Center in Tola, Nicaragua. The Center is located in an impoverished region. According to Forbes, the Center is completely funded by the band's "touring donations supported by ticket sales, their annual golf tournament and auction", and donations from fans.[28]

Through April 20–22, 2017, they were the opening act for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw on their Soul2Soul The World Tour 2017.[34] On August 11, the band released a deluxe edition of Hard Love featuring unreleased recordings of "Cages", "Count on Me", and "Waiting".[35]

Out of Body (2020–present)[edit]

It was announced, on April 21, 2020, that Bo Rinehart was leaving the band.[36]

The band formally introduced their seventh studio album, Out of Body, on June 11, 2020. Released on August 28, 2020, Out of Body is the first album without influential member Bo Rinehart and also the band's first release under Elektra Records. Prior to the release of the album, the band released four singles: "Seasons", "Hang On", "Survival" (featuring Drew & Ellie Holcomb), and "Who Am I". Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the band pushed the tentative "Out of Body Experience Tour 2020" to 2021. As an alternative to the live tour, the band hosted "Celebrating Out of Body", a ticketed livestream concert on the day of the album's release.[37] Another version of "Who Am I" was released on October 14, 2020, featuring singer-songwriter Elle King.[38]


Needtobreathe self-identifies as a rock band, but is often categorized as a Christian rock band as well. The band has been signed to mainstream labels, formerly to Atlantic Records, and releasing their latest record under the Elektra Records label. Needtobreathe experiences success on contemporary hit radio stations, Christian adult contemporary stations, and at the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, despite releasing a number of songs with no direct mention of their Christian faith.[39][40]

The band has resisted labels as specific as such in the past, explaining to Rolling Stone in 2016 in the following statement, "any label is limiting. That one in particular is especially limiting. To me, I think people pass over the band all the time because they read that....I hate the idea that they somehow feel like I didn't make the music for them, that we didn't play music for everyone.

"Christian record deals came and we said no to all of them. Waited a couple years until the right record deal came, which was Atlantic, which we've been on ever since. But we just said to them in passing when we first started, we want the records to be available to everyone."[39]

Band members[edit]

Touring musicians

  • Randall Harris – drums[46]

Former members

Former touring musicians


Awards and nominations[edit]

GMA Dove Awards[edit]

Year Award Title Result
2008 Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year "Signature of Divine (Yahweh)" Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year The Heat Nominated
2009 Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year "Washed by the Water" Won
2010 Group of the Year Won
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year "Lay 'Em Down" Won
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year The Outsiders Won
2011 Group of the Year Won
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year "Something Beautiful" Won
2012 Group of the Year Won
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year "Slumber" Won
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year The Reckoning Won
2013 Short Form Video "Keep Your Eyes Open" Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year "Keep Your Eyes Open" Won
2016 Song of the Year "Brother" Nominated
2017 Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year "Hard Love" (featuring Lauren Daigle) Won
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year Hard Love Won
Recorded Music Packaging of the Year Hard Love Nominated
2018 Artist of the Year Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year "Walking on Water" Won
2019 Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year "Forever On Your Side" (featuring JOHNNYSWIM) Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year Acoustic Live, Vol. 1 Nominated

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Award Result
2015 Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song ("Multiplied") Nominated

Billboard Music Awards[edit]

Year Award Result
2015 Top Christian Album ("Rivers in the Wasteland") Nominated


  1. ^ Tracy, Brianne (April 7, 2017). "Why NEEDTOBREATHE Called Shooting Their New Music Video with Andra Day the 'Most Fun' They've Ever Had on Set". People.
  2. ^ a b Polanco, Luis (April 1, 2016). "NEEDTOBREATHE Announces Sixth Studio Album & U.S. Tour Dates: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Brown, Marisa. "Needtobreathe | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Needtobreathe – Biography". Billboard. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "CBS College Sports". Retrieved July 20, 2006.
  6. ^ "Needtobreathe - Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  7. ^ "Furman".
  8. ^ "Sparrow and Atlantic Launch Needtobreathe". Prodigal Son Magazine. January 17, 2006. Archived from the original on August 27, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
  9. ^ Sahms, Jacob (August 14, 2007). "Needtobreathe – Hollywood Jesus Live". Hollywood Jesus Magazine. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "NEEDTOBREATHE Discography, Need To Breathe, Needtobreathe Artist Database |". Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  11. ^ "Soulrock Review - EP by Needtobreathe". Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Gasp! Debut Act NEEDTOBREATHE Lands CCM Cover Story". April 3, 2006. Retrieved September 5, 2008.
  13. ^ Thompson, John J. (April 2006). This Year's Model. CCM Magazine Archives. Retrieved 2012-8-4, from Archived May 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Needtobreathe – Daylight". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
  15. ^ a b "Word Records – Needtobreathe". Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  16. ^ "Needtobreathe Brings 'The Heat'". Your Music Zone. Archived from the original on March 28, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  17. ^ "Needtobreathe – The Heat". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  18. ^ 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards – Nominees Archived March 22, 2005, at the Wayback Machine,
  19. ^ "Needtobreathe Discography". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  20. ^ Kaufman, Gil (September 28, 2011). "Tony Bennett Scores First #1 On Billboard 200 – Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  21. ^ Duvall, Erin. "Taylor Swift Adds NeedtoBreathe to Her Speak Now Tour". The Boot. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  22. ^ "Prove The Poets Wrong" – via YouTube.
  23. ^ "Rivers in The Wasteland Available 04.15.14". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  24. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (April 23, 2014). "'Frozen's 11th Week at No. 1 with Biggest Sales Yet". Billboard. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  25. ^ "Canadian Albums : May 3, 2014". Billboard. May 3, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  26. ^ "NEEDTOBREATHE Find 'Rivers in the Wasteland' [Interview]". Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  27. ^ "Ugly Fist Fight Nearly Breaks Up Needtobreathe". Yahoo!. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  28. ^ a b Taylor, Peter Lane. "Hard Love: What America's Most Popular Band You've Never Heard Of Wants To Teach Every Entrepreneur". Forbes.
  29. ^ "Needtobreathe ends family feud". The San Francisco Examiner. July 8, 2015.
  30. ^ "Bear Rinehart, 'We're having more fun than we've ever had before'". FDRMX. February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  31. ^ Law, Jeannie (February 3, 2015). "Needtobreathe announce details for 'Tour De Compadres'". Breathecast radio.
  32. ^ "Tour Dates". January 22, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  33. ^ "Drake's 'Views' No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart for 11th Week, NeedToBreathe Debuts at No. 2". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  34. ^ Stefano, Angela (January 31, 2017). "Tim McGraw, Faith Hill Reveal 2017 Soul2Soul Tour Opening Acts". The Boot. Taste of Country Network. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  35. ^ "H A R D L O V E (Deluxe Edition) Collectors Edition Vinyl out August 11th - NEEDTOBREATHE Latest News". NEEDTOBREATHE Official Website. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  36. ^ a b "Bo Rinehart Exits NEEDTOBREATHE". April 21, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  37. ^ GMA (August 6, 2020). "NEEDTOBREATHE Announce "Celebrating Out of Body"". The Gospel Music Association. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  38. ^ Clarks, Jessie. "NEEDTOBREATHE Unveils "Who Am I" Featuring Elle King". Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  39. ^ a b Jon Freeman, "Needtobreathe Talk Christian-Band Stigma, Experimental New LP", Rolling Stone, August 23, 2016.
  40. ^ Taylor Weatherby, "NEEDTOBREATHE Announce Deluxe Vinyl Edition of 'HARDLOVE' & New EP: Listen to Two Tracks", Billboard, July 14, 2017.
  41. ^ "2000 Furman Player Profiles" (PDF). Furman University. 2000. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  42. ^ a b "Information about William S Rinehart, Jr". Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  43. ^ a b "Cornerstone Assembly of God welcomes new pastor". The Anderson Independent-Mail. August 20, 2010. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  44. ^ Bolt, Seth (December 22, 2015). "Look who visited the treehouse today for my birthday!! Bro-time with Chandler Bolt at the farm is…". Twitter. Retrieved April 12, 2016.[non-primary source needed]
  45. ^ "Seth Bolt in South Carolina". Intelius. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  46. ^ Sculley, Alan. "Brotherly feud put strain on Needtobreathe". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  47. ^ "NEEDTOBREATHE.NET/Blog - From Joe". Archived from the original on August 16, 2012.
  48. ^ "How big is your birthday cake ..." Twitter. December 31, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2014.[non-primary source needed]
  49. ^ a b Kevin, Davis. "#349 - "Wake Up" by All Sons & Daughters". Retrieved July 10, 2017.

External links[edit]