( AP ) - John Rich, of genre-bending duo Big & Rich, will release a solo album later this year on Warner Bros.
There's no official word on a release date for the album. The first single is tentatively scheduled for summer release, while Rich and his musical partner, Big Kenny Alphin, take a break.
"If anyone knows me, they know I'm always writing music," Rich said in a statement. "When we decided to take this year off so Kenny could focus on rehabilitation for a pre-existing injury, I asked Kenny if he was cool with me recording a solo project. I would only do this with Kenny's blessing. So, this year you can expect a solo record from me, but Big & Rich will be back in 2009!"
Alphin is still feeling the effects of his injuries in a car accident involving a drunk driver a few years ago, which required surgery to remove a vertebra.
In July, Big & Rich scored their first No. 1 airplay single, "Lost in This Moment." Their third album, "Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace," was released in June and debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums. It has sold 480,000 units to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Rich will hit the small screen January 25 with the debut of "Gone Country," a CMT reality show featuring Bobby Brown, Maureen McCormack, Dee Snider and Sisqo, among others. Rich leads the ragtag band through songwriting sessions, live performances and an introduction to the music business Nashville-style.