Country music singer-songwriter, Redneck Riviera Whiskey entrepreneur and Big & Rich member John Rich added interviewer to his resume with the Feb. 17 premiere of The Pursuit! With John Rich on Fox News' streaming service, Fox Nation.
"You've got Barbara Walters, who's arguably the greatest profile interviewer of all time," Rich says. "I say she's Barbara Walters, so I'll be Bubba Walters."
Each episode features a special guest, with two of the five posted so far featuring fellow country singers Gretchen Wilson and Wynonna Judd. Both women share compelling stories that reflect Rich's vision for The Pursuit!
"It's based off something I've said for many years," Rich says. "I've said it on stages, in interviews, in conversations, whatever. That is very simply that our Constitution doesn't guarantee us happiness. It guarantees us the right to pursue happiness. There's a big difference in those two things. The people in our country who really exhaust their potential and risk it and go for the American dream to pursue happiness are the people I want to talk to. That's the kind of person I am.
"I thought it would be a great frame for a story show for Americans to be able to tune in and hear from people from all different backgrounds and with diverse opinions with one thing in common: They're go-getters," he adds. "When you hear what they've been through, the struggles, the defeats, the disappointments but they continue on and continue on until they get to what their dream was."
Wilson makes sense as one of Rich's initial guests, if only because the two longtime friends co-wrote "Redneck Woman."
"When we wrote 'Redneck Woman,' I had to find my own voice," Wilson said when interviewed by Rich. "It was -- I was finally forced to find my own voice. Because even in songs that I had written before that, I was still -- I think I was writing to please instead of writing from within. And the day that we wrote 'Redneck Woman,' it was so personal -- it was just such a personal statement that we had decided we were going to make that day, that it forced me to figure out what I sounded like from that moment on. Even the demos that I did on the songs that I wrote before 'Redneck Woman,' sound like I was trying to be Faith, or I was trying to be Martina, or I was trying to be Shania. 'Redneck Woman' didn't sound like anybody else. Not the demo, not the original, not -- nothing."
During Judd's interview, she likens touring with her mom to being in a "prison on wheels."
"So I'm not real thrilled with the setup and yet I'm so in awe of the journey and what it's going to be like that it was harsh," Judd said during her episode of The Pursuit! With John Rich. "(Naomi Judd) was in the back of the bus and I'd go back there do her hair every night. There's a whole story about that and how the dynamics worked. But yes, she'd have to -- and there was no lock on the door. So there was never a sense of independent time. You know, I look at Billie Eilish, and I go, she still tours with her family. That's me. And I didn't have time to step away and party and have fun. The band and she partied. I was 18 years old. Think about it. I didn't have time -- I didn't have time, I'm also the lead singer and we're doing two-hour shows, sometimes two times a day."
Rich, the singer of "Shut Up About Politics," sees his lineup of personal friends and the show's theme as respites from polarizing debate.
"They're very different from me a lot of times on their opinions and what they believe or support, yet they're still my friends for long periods of time: 10 years, 20 years for some of these folks," Rich says. "That's a great thing in our country to be able to say, 'Hey, here's somebody from Hollywood who's been my buddy for 12 years who totally disagrees with me on a lot of things but you can tell our rapport is real, our friendship is real, our respect for each other is real.' Why is that? It's because we identify with each other as this is a hard-working guy, this is a dreamer, he cares about his family and the future. That's what we have in common, so that's what I focus on."
"John has been an asset to FOX News throughout the year, helping us raise money for Folds of Honor through the hit single Shut Up About Politics and his role in the recent FOX Nation Patriot Awards," Finley said. "We are overjoyed to have him join our platform and bring our subscribers a new realm of entertainment we know they will enjoy."
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