Rhett Forrester

Rhett Forrester

"He combined the commanding presence of Robert Plant with the soulful vocals of Paul Rodgers" – Robert Schoen, Rhett’s childhood friend

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Rhett Forrester was the complete rock singer. While offstage he had the presence, the arrogance and the looks, on stage he was a commanding singer rallying his musical troops for each assault on the audience’s eardrums.

Rhett Forrester was not born into a musical family, his mother was a Ballroom dance instructor, but his looks and attitude, however, were ideal for center stage at a rock concert. Taking vocal lessons at High School ensured that he had the sound to go with his inherent presence, a career in rock awaited.

After graduation Rhett moved to South Carolina where he played with a local band before becoming a true musical journeyman plying his vocals skills from group to group, town to town. While constantly building his skills the big break kept eluding him until finally it arrived when he was singing in a New York covers band – Rachel – in the form of Riot.

It was 1981, Riot’s singer (Guy Speranza) had left and Rhett Forrester applied for the position - with his voice and look complementing the band he was an automatic choice. The success of teaming Rhett and Riot together soon became apparent, he took control on stage bringing his experience to the fore enabling the band to relax and ramp up their performance, and he brought a more commercial feel to their music gaining Riot more airtime on rock stations.

During 1982 Riot toured with the Scorpions and Whitesnake relishing the new found edge that Rhett’s stagecraft gave them. Recording albums (such as ‘Restless Breed’) alongside continual touring (supporting Kiss on their ‘Lick It Up’ tour for example) however exposed strains within the group and when this was coupled with managerial problems Riot decided to split in 1983.

Rhett used this opportunity to work on a number of other projects before moving to Paris and record ‘Gone With The Wind’. While the album was well received and followed up by a successful “Even The Score”, Rhett’s time in the spotlight was at an end.

  • Riot cover The Animals’ ‘When I Was Young‘ on their ‘Restless Breed’ album.

  • There is a tribute to Rhett in the Atlanta Hard Rock Cafe.

  • Riot had to cancel a number of shows, opening for Rainbow, when Rhett disappeared – he resurfaced a week later in hospital with a mysterious illness.




Rhett Forrester Main Page
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Rhett Forrester Memorial Fund