Antonio Jeffries Jr. (born November 19, 1971), better known as Tony Rich and The Tony Rich Project, is a contemporary R&B singer-songwriter best known for his single "Nobody Knows".
Rich first attracted attention through the production team of Tim & Bob. The duo convinced Perri "Pebbles" Reid (then the wife of L.A. Reid, co-founder of LaFace Records) to listen to Rich over the phone. Rich was hired as a house songwriter for LaFace Records. As incoming Vice President of A&R, Eddie F then convinced Reid to sign him as an artist. Later, Rich mixed elements of jazz, rock and soul music into his own tracks.
The Tony Rich Project:
In January 1996 Rich released the hit single, "Nobody Knows", which made it to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Under the moniker "The Tony Rich Project", he released his debut album Words in early 1996. Both the album and single went platinum and in 1997, Rich won a Grammy Award for the Best R&B Album. The song was covered by country music artist Kevin Sharp in 1997, also as his debut single. The song "Like a Woman" was also nominated for a Grammy Award.
The album was followed up in 1998 by Birdseye, which, while critically praised, failed to generate much commercial success. Rich seemingly disappeared from the music world for several years after this album's release. That same year, he also commissioned a few remixes for the Spice Girls hit single "Viva Forever".
In 2003, Rich returned with the album The Resurrected. Carrying a very different style, the album featured Rich rocking out on the guitar, as well as singing smooth ballads.
By 2006, Rich released a fourth album, Pictures. The album contains snapshots of a relationship, and is a return in style to his earlier works.
In 2008, he released his fifth album, Exist, through Hidden Beach Recordings. Originally it was set for release on September 16, however it was pushed back to September 23, 2008. The album features the download-only single, "Part the Waves".
Rich portrayed the legendary Edward Duke Ellington in the 1997 crime drama Hoodlum.
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