Easy domain and Hosting
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Bice was born in Huntsville, Alabama to Nancy and Harold Elwin Bice. Music is in his family; his mother was a gospel singer (as were his grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunts). His father played guitar.
Bice was nicknamed "Bogart" as a newborn by his grandmother ("Granny Madge") because she thought he had "Humphrey Bogart eyes". His family continued to call him Bogart, but when Bice was in kindergarten he shortened it to "Bo" because he didn't think Bogart was cool.
Bice's parents divorced when he was very young, and his mother remarried years later. Bice grew up with his mother and step-father, Nancy and Earle Downes (a Coca-Cola manager), step-sisters Jenny and Sharan Downes, and half-brother John Cohran. Bice has two other half-siblings, Candice and Matthew, on his biological father's side. The Downes family moved around the South frequently. They lived in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, including the metro area of Atlanta. He first made his mark at the age of 13, when he won a local school competition. In 1990 when Bice was 14 years old they moved to England, as part of his step-father's European assignment with Coca-Cola in London. Bice spent his teenage years living in Gerrards Cross. The family were distant neighbors of Ozzy Osbourne.
Bice attended London Central High School, a Department of Defense school primarily for children whose parents served in the military or worked at the U.S. Embassy. In high school, he was found carrying his guitar everywhere, played football, attended proms, and had several girlfriends. It was around this time when Bice worked with some English alternative rock musicians. He formed his first band, Spinning Jenny, while living there.
Bice would have graduated in 1994, but in the fall of 1993, Bice dropped out of high school just before turning 18 to move back to Alabama, where he earned his GED and attended classes at Calhoun Community College from November 1996 to May 1997. Upon leaving Calhoun and spending one semester at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Bice turned professional and performed in shows all across the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Europe. He is a veteran of the nightclub circuit and an experienced songwriter, releasing his first CD in 1995 with his band Purge. His other pre-Idol bands include Blue Sued Nickel (sic) and SugarMoney. Among his credits are opening for Blackfoot and Warrant as well as performing live and recording with Johnny Neal, formerly of The Allman Brothers Band. Bice had recorded other albums prior to his stint on American Idol, which included "Ex Gratia" (1999) with his band Purge, and "Recipe for Flavor" (2000) with SugarMoney.
In 2001, Bice was charged with purchasing cocaine at a strip club. In 2003, Bice was arrested for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and public intoxication. He avoided jail time by agreeing to enter a drug program.
While working as manager of a guitar store, Bice met Caroline Fisher who was working her way through college as a waitress in a nearby diner (in Hoover, Alabama). During that same period of time, Bice became a very active and devoted member of New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
After two years of dating, Bice married Caroline Merrin Fisher (born 1980) on June 15, 2005 in Helena, Alabama. Son Aidan Michael Bice was born on September 24, 2005. Second son Caleb James was born on August 5, 2008. Third son Ean Jacob was born on January 22, 2010. They reside in Nashville.
For the 2005 season, Idol producers raised their required age limit from 16–24 to 16–28. In August 2004, Bice’s mother encouraged him to go try out, since he was within the eligible age limit (he would turn 29 in November 2004). He asked his mother to come along, and she took him up on that dare.
Along with Constantine Maroulis and Taylor Hicks (winner of Season 5), Bice was one of the oldest contestants to audition and participate on American Idol. Bice and Maroulis were among the first contestants to compete using the rock idiom.
A Southern rocker in musical approach and appearance, Bice did not fit into the normal American Idol mold. His early performance of The Allman Brothers Band's "Whipping Post" drew raves from the judges and established him as one of the favorites in the competition.
During the final three performance show, Bice took the risk of performing without a band or backup singers. This was the first time anybody attempted to sing a cappella at this stage in the competition. He sang "In a Dream", an obscure song recorded by Badlands. His performance was highly praised by the judges, including guest judge Clive Davis, who spoke of looking forward to making an album with Bice.
In June 2005 Bice was quoted in Rolling Stone magazine that his last thought during the Idol finale was, "Please, God, don't let me win this thing." In comments during a subsequent appearance on The Today Show, Bice backed off this stance a bit, saying that he thanked all those who had voted for him. He then played solo acoustic guitar and harmonica to one of his own compositions, in addition to singing his Idol songs with a band.
In Alabama, May 24 was declared "Bo Bice Day" by Governor Bob Riley. In fact, Bice's pride in being an Alabama native resulted in the adoption of Lynyrd Skynyrd's hit "Sweet Home Alabama" as his "theme" during his tenure on American Idol. Two members of the group Lynyrd Skynyrd surprised Bice during his trip home from Idol and performed "Sweet Home Alabama" with him in his home town of Helena, Alabama. Bice and the entire Lynyrd Skynyrd group performed a rousing rendition of the song together during American Idol finals, bringing nearly the entire audience to their feet.
Week Theme Song Original artist Result
Auditions Contestant's Choice "In a Dream" Badlands Advanced
Contestant's Choice "Whipping Post" The Allman Brothers Band Advanced
Hollywood Round 1 Contestant's Choice "The Letter" The Box Tops Advanced
Hollywood Round 2 Contestant's Choice God Bless the USA Lee Greenwood Advanced
Top 50 Contestant's Choice "Get Ready" The Temptations Advanced
Top 24 Contestant's Choice "Drift Away" Dobie Gray Safe
Top 20 Contestant's Choice "Whipping Post" The Allman Brothers Band Safe
Top 16 Contestant's Choice "I'll Be" Edwin McCain Safe
Top 12 Song of the 1960s "Spinning Wheel" Blood, Sweat & Tears Safe
Top 11 Billboard Number Ones "Time in a Bottle" Jim Croce Safe
Top 10 1990s "Remedy" The Black Crowes Safe
Top 9 Classic Broadway "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin Safe
Top 8 Year They Were Born "Free Bird" Lynyrd Skynyrd Bottom 2
Top 7 1970s Dance Music "Vehicle" The Ides of March Safe
Top 6 21st Century "I Don't Want to Be" Gavin DeGraw Safe
Top 5 Lieber & Stoller
Current Billboard Chart "Stand by Me"
"Heaven" Ben E. King
Los Lonely Boys Safe
Top 4 Country
Gamble & Huff "It's a Great Day to Be Alive"
"For the Love of Money" Travis Tritt
The O'Jays Safe
Top 3 Clive Davis' Choice
Contestant's Choice "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
"In a Dream" Elton John
The Rolling Stones
Finale Idol Single
Contestant's Choice "Inside Your Heaven"
"Long Long Road"
"Vehicle" Carrie Underwood/Bo Bice
The Ides of March Runner Up
2005–2006: The Real Thing
Signed to RCA Records, Bice's first single, released June 21, 2005, was his version of "Inside Your Heaven". The single debuted at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and #1 on the Billboard Hot Single Sales chart. Bice's single replaced Carrie Underwood's version of the same song at #1, the first time in the history of the sales chart. The B-side was his rendition of the Ides of March hit "Vehicle", featuring an appearance by Richie Sambora. It was certified Gold in late July 2005. Bice was invited to the Bonnaroo Music Festival by Trey Anastasio (formerly of Phish). He sang a song with Willie Nelson at a Birmingham concert and was invited by Nelson to perform at Farm Aid. Bice appeared on Carlos Santana's 2005 album All That I Am with the song "Brown Skin Girl."
On June 15, 2005, Bice married long-time girlfriend Caroline Fisher in Helena, Alabama. Bice had met her when he was working as a guitar store manager, and frequented the Ragtime Cafe in Hoover, Alabama where she was working her way through college as a waitress. Their first child, a son named Aidan Michael Bice, was born on September 24, 2005.
On July 31, 2005, Bice broke his foot while performing in concert in Manchester, New Hampshire but carried on with the tour. On August 18 Bice, who had been suffering from stomach pain for months, was rushed to the hospital for emergency intestinal surgery to remove a blockage caused by a life-threatening intestinal condition called Intussusception. He was sidelined from the tour for several shows. During his absence from the tour, fellow contestants Anwar, Nikko, Scott, Anthony and Constantine paid tribute to Bice by singing "Sweet Home Alabama" and wearing Bo Bice T-shirts. Bice returned to the tour for the final two concerts in Syracuse, New York, September 10 and September 11 (a benefit concert with proceeds going to the American Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Katrina). In addition, to playing that concert, he opened his home in Helena, Alabama to a family displaced by Hurricane Katrina. In September, Bice received the Relly Award for "Best Reality Guest" for his earlier appearance on Live with Regis & Kelly.
On October 7, 2005, Bice proudly introduced his own band, SugarMoney, in Mobile, Alabama at Bayfest. He performed two concerts the following week, including a benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, but was back in the hospital the next day with surgery complications. In the following months, Bice made rounds of TV appearances, including two appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (two appearances), The Tony Danza Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Live with Regis & Kelly (two appearances), Today Show, Early Show, MTV, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Extra, and others. November was a special month for Bo. He was named "Heartland Hero of the Week" on John Kasich's show, Heartland for giving up his house to the family displaced by Hurricane Katrina and for using his music to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina. In November 2005, People magazine featured an article about the birth of Bice's son Aidan.
Bice hosted Oxygen Television Network's Jingle Bell Concert, and his special guests included Patti LaBelle and Joan Osborne. Jim Croce's family awarded Bice the "Jim Croce 20th Annual Music Award" because the Croce family had been greatly moved by Bice's performance of Croce's song "Time in a Bottle" while he was a contestant on American Idol. On December 3, Bice beat Danny Bonaduce and Tommy Lee to win the "Big Reality Star" award for VH1's Big in '05 Show. On December 6, Bice was a presenter at the 2005 Billboard Music Awards. He was a nominee for Top-Selling Single of the Year for "Inside Your Heaven".
Bice's solo debut album, The Real Thing, was released on December 13, 2005. It opened at #4. The Real Thing has the seventh-highest opening for a debut album by an American Idol finalist. Bice's band at the time appears with him on three tracks on The Real Thing's DualDisc version: "Cinnamon & Novocaine", "Sinner In a Sin", and "Whiskey, Women & Time." In December, Bice appeared on AOL Sessions, singing some of the songs from his album, "The Real Thing." On December 18, Bice started coughing up blood while rehearsing for a performance on the 2005 Radio Music Awards, and had to miss the show.
In January 2006, CMT aired an hour-long TV special—called "Bo Bice: In the Moment"—which chronicled Bo's life post-Idol during the recording of his album, The Real Thing. Their cameras had followed Bice around for months during the making of his album. The film showed both his joy with making an album and his frustration with recording other people's pop songs, and produced the memorable quote, "You can put a penguin in a mink coat, but it's still a (deleted) penguin." The cameras captured many touching moments, including the birth of his son, Aidan.
In February 2006, Bice kicked off a radio promo tour. During the ensuing year of promotional appearances and touring, Bice continued to suffer with the recurring intestinal condition which had not been repaired by the August 2005 surgery. In the span of just a few months during his various tours, Bice was hospitalized 20 times, checking out of the hospitals each time to honor his performance commitments. In March 2006, Bice sang on the American Idol Top 16 Results Show. In April 2006, Bice was one of the celebrity drivers featured in the Toyota Pro-Celebrity Race held in Long Beach, California, that was sponsored by Toyota to benefit various children's hospitals of Southern California. He performed at the 2006 Toyota Grand Prix, an Indy Racing League event in St. Petersburg, Florida. Bice appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on May 9, 2006. He was the guest host for the The Fairly OddParents episode, "Fairy Idol", on May 19, 2006, and continued with his rigorous tour schedule.
In the spring and summer of 2006, Bice began to talk of his hopes for a second CD, saying, for example, "On the next album I'd like to go more rootsy, more country, more southern rock Bo."On July 21, 2006, a fan at Bo Bice.com asked Bice what fans could do to hear Bo more as he sounded on American Idol than on The Real Thing. He responded that they could start a petition asking Clive Davis for Bo's original southern rock songs on a subsequent CD. A diverse group of fans, the Grassroots Coalition to Hear More Bo, started the online Petition to Hear More Bo, which collected over 5,300 signatures before it was closed February 21, 2007, after word broke that Bice was no longer with RCA. Although the petition had no effect with RCA, it affirmed fan interest in the kind of CD Bice had said he wanted to make, and would eventually release in 2007.
On September 12, 2006, Bice released a cover of The Chambers Brothers 1968 smash hit, "Time Has Come Today", through various legal digital music download sites. The tune was the theme song for a new Monopoly commercial. In September 2006, Bice was a special guest star in a TV special called Decades Rock Live: Lynyrd Skynyrd & Friends--the friends being Bice, Hank Williams Jr., and 3 Doors Down.
On October 5, 2006, Bice underwent emergency surgery in Nashville, Tennessee to correct his recurring intestinal problem. According to his official website, the surgery "was not easy or routine". The surgery came after several rounds of tests and doctors deemed his condition serious enough to operate immediately. The day after that surgery, a complication occurred and Bice had to undergo another surgery.
During the subsequent recovery time, Ben Stiller invited Bice to record the rock power ballad audio and music video for the title track of the Will Ferrell film Blades of Glory (produced by Stiller).
Bice was presented with a gold record for The Real Thing not long after RCA dropped Bice from its roster. Bice subsequently formed his own record label called Sugar Money/StratArt (in partnership with Strategic Artist Management). He spent the next few months in his own new Rock Hound Studio—planning, writing, and recording music for his new album, See the Light.
2007: See the Light and other projects
Bice introduced many of his newly-written songs on a short acoustic tour which began in May, 2007 and ended a few weeks later with his hospitalization for flu and bronchitis. Bo Bice's second album, entitled See the Light was released October 23, 2007 on Bice's Independent label, Sugar Money/StratArt. The CD is available exclusively through Walmart, and digital downloads are available everywhere online. Of this album, Bice said " I picked and co-wrote the songs that if I was a guy who would be spending my hard-earned money buying an album I would want to hear.". Bice has since parted with Strategic Artist Management, and is referring to his record label as "SugarMoney.
Blades of Glory soundtrack CD was released on 3/27/2007; Theatrical Release Date: 03/30/2007; DVD Release Date: 08/28/2007. Bice made several promotional appearances in connection with the releases.
In October 2007, Bice made an appearance on the TV show American Chopper: The Series in an episode which featured a custom-built Peavey Bike with a built-in guitar, microphone, and amp. Peavey Electronics Corporation and Bice were working together to develop a Bo Bice guitar for their line of products. Bice had made appearances in Peavey Electronics Corporation's after school programs (in conjunction with National Afterschool Alliance) during which Peavey donated instruments to schools.
Bice's music video--"Witness" (from his album "See the Light")--spent three consecutive weeks at #1 on VH1 "Top 20 Countdown" in December 2007 to close out the year. During that same period of time, "Witness" was ranked #2 on VH1 Video on Demand, and his "See the Light" was ranked #1 Album on the VH1 site.
2008: Touring and appearances
In February 2008, Bice traveled to Kuwait and Afghanistan to perform for U.S. troops deployed in the region, and to thank them for their service. He went back to the war region in Fall 2008.
During Spring and Summer 2008, Bice continued his tour promoting his See the Light album. He simultaneously spent a few weeks participating in a special tour called It Was Forty Years Ago Today with Todd Rundgren, Denny Laine, Lou Gramm, and Christopher Cross. The tour paid tribute to the fortieth anniversary of the release of the Beatles' ground-breaking album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Bice performed a song on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon in Las Vegas on Labor Day weekend 2008. On that same weekend, he sang the National Anthem at the Pepsi 500 NASCAR race in California.
On September 13, Bice participated in "Share the Beat," a benefit for the Georgia Transplant Foundation and the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness. It was hosted by James and Robert Redford.
Bice sang two tracks on the Brothers of the Southland CD, a compilation spearheaded by The Marshall Tucker Band's George McCorkle who had died from cancer just days prior to the recording sessions. The album features a band called "Brothers of the Southland" which consists of a number of southern rock legends. Bice contributed lead vocals and guitar on a remake of the Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See," and covered "Dreams." The album was released February 10, 2009.
On December 2, Bice was invited to Washington to perform for President Bush
Bice joined Joe Diffie on the classic track, “Willin” (originally recorded by Little Feat) for Joe’s new CD that will launch before the end of 2008. Bice visited Tanner Park in Copiague, New York on late Friday night, July 31, 2009. He and his band played for the audience, and later signed autographs.
Throughout 2009, Bice continued touring to support See the Light. Bice did tour dates with Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Bice delivered a powerful performance on song called ‘Old Spanish Trail’ on the soundtrack for the critically acclaimed ‘Noble Things’ film (released to theaters October 30, 2009).
Bice was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Presidential Volunteer Service Award for volunteering more than 4,000 hours of his time for worthy causes, such as Habitat for Humanity, Katrina assistance, Muscular Distrophy, Organ Transplant, two concert tours for the military troops in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan, Safe House, and many others. In addition to the hours for which he received recognition, he has donated instruments, music equipment, meaningful personal memorabilia, and some of his own paintings to be auctioned off for charities.
Bice started 2010 with an acoustic tour to introduce some newly-written songs that he was recording for his upcoming album. Bice's Sugar Money record label teamed up with Time-Life for the album which was called "3" (release date May 18th, 2010).
Year Album details Peak chart
US US Indie CAN
2005 The Real Thing
Release date: December 13, 2005
Label: RCA Records
4 — 60
2007 See the Light
Release date: October 23, 2007
Label: StratArt Records
150 31 —
To be released: May 18, 2010
Label: Saguaro Road
To be released
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US US Pop US AC US Adult US Main
2005 "I Don't Want to Be" — 85 — — — The Showstoppers
"Inside Your Heaven" 2 1 — — — Inside Your Heaven
"Vehicle" — 82 — — —
2006 "The Real Thing" 56 33 17 11 17 The Real Thing
"U Make Me Better" — — — — —
2007 "Blades of Glory" — — — — — Blades of Glory (soundtrack)
"Witness" — — — — — See the Light
"—" denotes the single failed to chart or not released