Kenny Chesney’s Advice Helped Chase Rice Find His Way Back to the Top
A Wikipedia view of Chase RIce's career to date shows a man who started white-hot before going ice cold and heating back up again. This U-shaped career arc (as it pertains to radio success) is not what little boys and girls grow up dreaming about, but the "Eyes on You" singer will convince you it was all part of his plan.
Crib notes version: Rice co-writes Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" and finds tremendous success with his own debut single, the thematically similar "Ready Set Roll." The follow-up "Gonna Wanna Tonight" goes platinum before two straight misses, a record label change and a long slog to No. 25 (on Billboard's Country Airplay chart) with "Three Chords and the Truth," his first single on Broken Bow Records.
“When you start out that hot, you sometimes miss opportunities to have deeper relationships with people. And that's what we’ve fixed," Rice tells Taste of Country, candidly assessing his career arc, but adding a few details Wikipedia and much of the music industry missed.
“I’ve kinda said this from day one, I wanted to create a career where if it all hit the fan, people would still show up — and radio hit the fan the last two years," he furthers.
In concert, Rice has always thrived. Even as he struggled to find another "hit," audiences grew and fans became more passionate. The foundation was there, which made it easy for a second record label to take a chance on him. From their first meeting together Rice appreciated how enthusiastic his new BBR team has been about him and his music.
“We had a lot to fix with radio," he admits. "We had a lot of people that for whatever reason had their thoughts of who I am as a person … they just didn’t know me. So we had to take 'Three Chords and the Truth' and go, ‘Let’s take a year and let people know who you are.’”
"Eyes on You" is a Top 5 single with eyes on No. 1, and it's the song Rice says he knew would be the smash. However, he learned a lesson with "Ready Set Roll" and held back. Patience is something he's been forced to learn.
“I remember Kenny Chesney saying in 2015 … it was the walk-off. We’d walked off and I was about to go on with him for Tractor ("She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy"). He'd heard my merchandise numbers that night with him," Rice recalls, "And he just said, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing.’ He kept saying that over and over, and that’s kind of what we’ve done.”
Rice will headline the Eyes on You Tour through May. "Eyes on You" is his second single from his Lambs & Lions album.
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