Richie Kotzen began playing piano at the age of five. At the age of seven, he was inspired to learn the electric guitar by the band KISS. He started his career in a band named Arthur’s Museum. Kotzen was eventually discovered by Shrapnel Records’ Mike Varney, and he recorded his first solo album by the age of 19.
In 1991, at age 21, Kotzen joined glam-metal band Poison, co-writing and performing on the album Native Tongue. This album produced two top-twenty singles which Kotzen co-wrote, “Stand” and “Until You Suffer Some (Fire and Ice)”.
In 1999, Kotzen replaced Paul Gilbert as guitarist in the mainstream rock band Mr. Big, performing on their album Get Over It. He also contributed guitars to their subsequent release Actual Size. The record included the Kotzen song Shine, which debuted at number one on Japanese radio charts. After Mr. Big disbanded, Kotzen released the solo album Change, in 2003. The title track and the song Get a Life were featured in TV commercials throughout Japan.
Richie is releasing a new solo album, Salting Earth, out April 14.