Rice was raised in Celbridge, County Kildare, Ireland, and began his musical career as a member of the 1990s rock group Juniper. After leaving the band he worked as a farmer in Tuscany and busked throughout Europe before returning to Ireland in 2001 and beginning a solo musical career. Rice found his early calling in painting and music. He set out to break into the pop charts with the indie rock outfit Juniper, that were signed to POLYGRAM RECORDS in 1997. The band enjoyed moderate success with a couple of single releases, but a projected album foundered because of record company politics.
In 2002 his debut album O reached No. 8 on the UK albums chart, won the Shortlist Music Prize and generated three top-30 singles in the UK. Rice released his second album 9 in 2006 and his songs have appeared in numerous films and television episodes.
Rice's personal activities include musical contributions to charitable projects such as the Songs for Tibet, Freedom Campaign and the Enough Project.
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Source says all four remaining contestants have recorded a version of the big-selling ballad
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