New York City native Rich Tolbert Jr. grew up in church, singing and leading worship by age ten. As a young adult, Tolbert was part of the five-member ensemble Livre’ (Portuguese for “free”), that went on to release a series of singles, including: “Amazing,” which hit the Top 40 of Billboard’s Hot Gospel Radio chart, and “I Will Be Alright,” which hit the Top 20, along with the full-length album, and Jericho: Tribe of Joshua. After the group disbanded, Tolbert continued to write and perform as a solo artist, appearing on and co-writing the hit song “Miracle Worker”. This song from JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise, garnered a Dove Award nomination and winning an ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Award for the track.
His debut album, Never Be Defeated, hit No. 1 for two consecutive weeks on the Billboard Current Gospel Albums Chart following its late October release. The live recording, which already boasts an astounding 3.4 million combined streams, also debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart.