November 5, 2002

2002 BMI Country Song of the Year

“I’m Already There”

With the victory of “I’m Already There” at the 2002 BMI Country Awards, songwriter and Lonestar lead vocalist Richie McDonald joins the elite list of Kris Kristofferson, Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, Rosanne Cash, Eddie Rabbitt, Donna Fargo and Alabama’s Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen as both writer and performer of the Most Performed Country Song of the Year.

The title track of Lonestar’s fifth BNA album, the single was a #1 hit for six weeks on the Billboard Country chart, and reached #2 in Adult Contemporary during its year-plus tenure.  Inspired by a conversation between McDonald and his family while he was on the road touring, “I’m Already There” is his first #1 as a writer and second BMI Award-winning song.

McDonald’s other writing credits include Lonestar’s recordings of “Out Go The Lights,” “When Cowboys Didn’t Dance,” “As Simple As That,” “I’ve Gotta Find You” and “Everything’s Changed” (1999 BMI Country Award and Million-Air), as well as “She’s Always Right” (Clay Walker), “I Couldn’t Dream A Love [Better Than This]” (John Michael Montgomery), and “Jimmy’s Got A Girlfriend” (The Wilkinsons).

The four members of Lonestar – including Dean Sams (keyboard), Michael Britt (guitar) and Keech Rainwater (drums)—grew up in Texas and, though none received any substantial musical training, each made his way through a series of garage bands in high school.  McDonald, in Dallas working for Coca-Cola by day, singing commercial jingles and in clubs by night, opened for a band that included Britt and Rainwater. McDonald met Sams at an Opryland USA audition in Arlington, Texas.  The four musicians eventually re-connected in Nashville and Lonestar was born in 1992.

After signing to BNA Records, they released their first single, “Tequila Talkin’,” in 1995.  This Top 5 success was soon bested by their next single, “No News,” a #1 hit for three weeks which helped bring their debut, self-titled album to Gold status. Lonestar was named the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Vocal Group in 1996.

“Amazed,” the first single from their triple platinum Lonely Grill album, proved a career record, winning Grammy and CMA nominations and two ACM awards (Song of the Year and Single of the Year).  It surged to #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles Chart, where it stayed for an astounding eight weeks.  When “Amazed” climbed to #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Chart, Lonestar became the first country act to reach that coveted spot in the modern Soundscan/BDS era. Written by Marv Green, Aimee Mayo and Chris Lindsey, “Amazed” was named BMI Country Song of the Year in 2000.  “I’m Already There” marks the second time in three years that BMI has announced that Lonestar has recorded the most performed country song on American radio and television.

Currently represented on the charts by “Unusually Unusual,” Lonestar has also scored with the hits “Not A Day Goes By,” “With Me,” “What About Now” and “Smile.”

Lonestar is the reigning Vocal Group of the Year for both the Academy of Country Music and The Country Music Association.