Rich first attracted attention as a staff writer at LaFace Records, where he wrote songs for recording artists including Boyz II Men, Johnny Gill, TLC, and Toni Braxton. Later, Rich mixed elements of jazz, rock and soul music into his own tracks. In late 1995 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.
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