Rhett Lawrence

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Rhett Lawrence
Rhett Lawrence with Jimi Hendrix Amplifier and '59 Burst.jpg
Lawrence in 2016
Background information
Years active1982–present
  • Rhettrhyme Music
  • BMG
Associated acts

Rhett Lawrence (real name James Everett Lawrence) is an American record producer and songwriter. [1] [2] He has produced, mentored, and helped launch the career of 5 of the top 200 artists of all time who have sold over 350,000,000 records worldwide. [3] [4] He has worked with 30 of the top 500 artists of all time who have sold over 2.2 billion records worldwide. [3] [4] Many of these artists are also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


He is originally famous for producing the Grammy Award–winning, Billboard No. 1 single "Vision of Love" for Mariah Carey. [5] "Vision of Love" was No. 1 simultaneously on 3 Billboard charts: Billboard Hot 100 (for 4 weeks), Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (for 2 weeks), Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks (for 3 weeks).

He produced and co-wrote Kelly Clarkson's first single following her American Idol victory... The pop rock hit, "Miss Independent", was No. 1 for 6 weeks at Top 40 Radio and received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Lawrence's second collaboration with Clarkson led to the creation of a new anthem for Ford Motor Company titled "Go". The song was introduced first during American Idol and was inspired by Lawrence's love for Ford's anniversary re-issue of the GT40 Lemans race car, the Ford GT. "Go" became Ford's theme song for television and radio advertising in North and South America for one year, and led to Ford sponsoring Clarkson's tour for two years. Ford and Clarkson gave away a Ford Mustang or Ford Fusion to a lucky audience member at each concert. [6] [7]

Rhett Lawrence with his Ford GT that inspired his song with Kelly Clarkson "Go" Ford GT RL GO.tif
Rhett Lawrence with his Ford GT that inspired his song with Kelly Clarkson "Go"

He produced and co-wrote the Billboard No. 2 Rap single “Request + Line” for The Black Eyed Peas featuring Macy Gray, which gave them their first top 40 hit in many countries worldwide. Lawrence's belief in will.i.am's talent and potential led to a mentoring friendship which lasted many years and led to great success. [8] [9] He produced and co-wrote the No. 1 UK hit single "Never Be The Same Again" with Melanie C. of The Spice Girls and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC, which was No. 1 in 35 countries. He wrote the No. 1 single "Angel of Mine" recorded by Monica and Eternal and co-wrote the No. 1 UK song “I Wanna Be the Only One” for Eternal featuring BeBe Winans.

In addition, he has produced and written songs for the likes of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Whitney Houston, Earth Wind and Fire, Little Richard, Philip Bailey, Gladys Knight, Jon Anderson (Yes), Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, pop artists Enrique Iglesias, Selena, Paula Abdul with Ofra Haza, Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson, 98 Degrees, Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton (The Spice Girls), Carola Häggkvist (Eurovision winner from Sweden), June Pointer of the legendary pop/R&B group The Pointer Sisters, and gospel greats BeBe & CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin, the Andrae and Sandra Crouch Choir, and Crystal Lewis.

Rhett Lawrence with Dave Pensado where they mixed Kelly Clarkson and Black Eyed Peas singles. Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson albums were also recorded there. Rhett Lawrence and Dave Pensado.jpg
Rhett Lawrence with Dave Pensado where they mixed Kelly Clarkson and Black Eyed Peas singles. Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson albums were also recorded there.

Foundation as a programmer, arranger and studio musician

Prior to becoming a producer, Lawrence was a programmer, arranger and studio musician in Los Angeles and New York. Some of the artists he worked with during this period include Michael Jackson (Bad and Dangerous albums), Van Halen, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (Yes), Earth Wind and Fire, Neil Diamond, Chicago ("Will You Still Love Me"), and Quincy Jones (2 solo albums, Jackson, and Barbra Streisand), rock artists Billy Preston, Boz Scaggs and Roger Hodgson (Supertramp), pop artists Richard Marx, Belinda Carlisle ("Heaven is a Place On Earth"), easy listening artists Julio Iglesias, and David Foster, jazz artists Larry Carlton, George Benson and Earl Klugh, funk artists The Gap Band and The Dazz Band, and gospel artists Phil Keaggy and Andrae Crouch. He also programmed the distinctive drum loop (with Maurice Gibb and Scott Glasel) for the Bee Gees' "You Win Again (Bee Gees song)" which sold over 3 million copies worldwide, while working on multiple projects with them and Arif Mardin.

Equipment and Studio

In addition to the use of synthesizers, Lawrence pioneered the use of computers and sampling on albums and was the first studio musician in Los Angeles to own and use the Fairlight CMI (computer music instrument). Always eager to embrace new technology, he was an early advisor to Digidesign (later Avid Technology) and would later become the first producer to mix an album using Pro Tools, alongside legendary mixer Dave Pensado. [10] The emergence of this new digital platform helped forge a lasting creative partnership as Lawrence and Pensado would team up through the years, exchanging ideas and becoming the best of friends. [11] [8] Video - Rhett Lawrence and Dave Pensado talk about their collaborations in the recording studio over the years: mixing with Pro Tools, projects such as Kelly Clarkson's and the impact of American Idol. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FjQkRE8wp8)

Lawrence also owns and records with a large collection of vintage guitars and recording equipment including Jimi Hendrix's first Marshall amplifier which was given to Hendrix by Kit Lambert, manager of The Who during the 1960s, after its guitarist and original owner, Pete Townshend, had switched amplifier companies. [12] [13]

See also

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