(au-tow-bi-o -- noun 1. when a guy writes his own bio in third person so that it appears someone else wrote about him, allowing him to brag a little and still appear somewhat humble 2. a biodiesel-fueled automobile)
Chris Rice was born a loooooooong time ago. He barely remembers it. The second-born of four brothers, he was (and still is) the introvert of the Rice family, nicknamed "Fine" by his parents during his adolescent years, based on his single-word answer whenever asked how his day went.
Fast-forward to adulthood: Interviews? Live radio? Shaking hands and making conversation with hundreds of strangers every night after shows? His worst nightmares all rolled into his real life! How he ever pulled off a public life as a recording artist is anyone's guess!
But he did. And grew into the experience. And actually enjoyed it. Seven studio releases, two instrumentals, a Christmas EP, and a couple of 'Best Of's' later, this guy smiles that his songs are still played around the world every now and then! (And even once in outer space on a Space Shuttle Mission!)
His muses? Words, science, nature, humor, questions, faith.
His personality? Super chill, somewhat goofy, lovable (he hopes).
Compliments? That his songs help people put words to things they have felt and thought. His songs cover a variety of styles and topics. Soothing voice. Deep lyrics.
Criticisms? That his songs cover too many unrelated styles and topics. Voice is too soothing, wimpy. Shallow lyrics. He doesn't mention his faith enough. He mentions his faith too much.
Ah, public life.
Before public life? He grew up in a Maryland suburb of Washington DC where his parents owned a bookstore, and where he and his brothers dominated on the soccer fields and basketball courts. Well, not really dominated, but he wanted us to write that.
In his early twenties, after college-hopping and a Psychology degree, he moved to Tennessee, and spent most of his early adulthood traveling the country with his guitar, playing songs at youth camps and college retreats. (This led to internet misinformation that he was a youth pastor, although he never was.) But he still believes that all this time spent with students has kept him young! Whatever, Chris.
In 1996 he signed with a record label (Rocketown Records) as their first artist. After four plus albums and a few handfuls of Christian radio hit singles, he moved to an indie label (Eb+Flo) started by his producer and long time friend Monroe Jones. This new label relationship helped him expand his musical reach into more mainstream pop radio, especially with his light-hearted love songs "When Did You Fall (In Love With Me)" and "Lemonade," still heard in Home Depots, Toys-R-Uses, restaurant bathrooms, airports and shopping malls around the country (according to frequent text messages from his friends!)
More recently, he has quietly slipped out of public view, retreated into a sweet neighborhood in Tennessee with too many awesome coffee shops, developed calluses on his hands from his rock climbing addiction, and every now and then he shows up as co-writer on some of his friends' songs.
He recently started dabbling in painting at the invitation of some of his local artist friends (to participate in a very successful art show back in April, 2014). Following the show, he has continued to paint frequently and offer his works for sale in his online art shop.
That's all we know for now. We can't get this Rice guy to talk much. Silly introvert.