Named in honor of a passage from C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, the Texas-based CCM band Sixpence None the Richer began taking shape in the early '90s, when guitarist Matt Slocum first met vocalist Leigh Nash (formerly Lee Bingham) at a church retreat. Initially a trio rounded out by bassist T.J. Behling, the group recorded a demo before signing with R.E.X. Records, a label that previously specialized in Christian metal. Their debut LP, The Fatherless & the Widow, appeared in 1993. With the addition of rhythm guitarist Tess Wiley, new bassist J.J. Plasencio, and drummer Dale Baker, Sixpence None the Richer toured before returning to the studio to record their sophomore effort, 1995's This Beautiful Mess. The album won a Dove Award and was followed by the Tickets for a Prayer Wheel EP. Both Wiley and Plasencio exited prior to the group's next LP, an eponymously titled effort that turned the band into a platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated act. Although issued in 1997, Sixpence None the Richer didn't take off until 1999, when the dreamy track "Kiss Me" was released as a single. The song was featured on the third season of Dawson's Creek and catapulted Sixpence None the Richer's star power into the mainstream, earning airplay in more than ten different countries. Accolades continued as the band's rendition of the La's' "There She Goes" also became a major hit, thanks in part to its inclusion in the Nickolodeon film Snow Day. The new millennium looked bright as the band weathered the departure of founding drummer Dale Baker (replaced in 2001 by Rob Mitchell) and inked a new record deal with Reprise. In fall 2002, Sixpence None the Richer returned to form with the lushly beautiful Divine Discontent. The band's cover of the Crowded House classic "Don't Dream It's Over" pushed Sixpence None the Richer's name back into the charts in early 2003, and the song's inclusion on the soundtrack to the WB's Smallville was a major hit among the teen audience. Nevertheless, the group disbanded in 2004, with Matt Slocum launching his own group soon after the split and Leigh Nash pursuing a solo career. The breakup turned out to be little more than a hiatus, however, as Sixpence None the Richer reunited in 2007 and released the My Dear Machine EP. Cross-Atlantic tour dates followed, and a Christmas-themed effort titled The Dawn of Grace arrived just before the holiday season in late 2008. ~ Jason AnkenyPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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