Commonwealth native Bruce Hornsby spent several years playing local clubs in Virginia before he and his brother John moved to LA where they worked three years as writers. After returning to Virginia, Hornsby spent some time playing in the band Ambrosia and backing Sheena Easton.
In 1985 Hornsby and his own band the Range signed a record deal with RCA and in ‘86 the Huey Lewis produced “The Way it Is” was their debut. It eventually produced three Top 20 hits, the biggest of which was the socially conscious “The Way It Is,” which featured Hornsby’s characteristically melodic right-hand piano runs. The album stayed in the charts for almost a year-and-a-half and sold two million copies. Hornsby & the Range won the Best New Artist Grammy Award for 1986.
Bruce Hornsby’s career expanded into songwriting, with hits from Huey Lewis and Don Henley and soon he was appearing in the Grateful Dead after keyboardist Brent Mydland died. Hornsby played more than 100 shows with the band and continued with many of the post-Dead projects.
Hornsby’s first hit The Way It Is has lived on in an unexpected way, having been sampled or re-recorded in more than 20 hip-hop tracks. It is just another twist to a career that has had many of them including an album of jazz, classical and avant-pop the drew contributions from Bon Iver, Jack DeJohnette and the Shins James Mercer, and some serius adult rock creds through his work with Don Henley on The End of the Innocence and with Bonnie Raitt on I Can’t Make You Love Me.