Having toured Ireland and achieved minor success with indie rockers Juniper, Rice became disillusioned with the industry and headed for Tuscany to become a farmer. He soon had a change of heart, busking his way around Europe and back to Dublin where he scrabbled together some demo recordings and sent them to his cousin, producer David Arnold. Arnold loved the tapes and bought him a mobile studio to record in and it wasn't long before debut album O (2002) was winging its way to Number 8 in the UK charts. With its fragile stripped down, acoustic beauty, the album became a big critical success, winning US-based Shortlist Music Prize and producing the singles Blower's Daughter, Cannonball and Volcano. Full of emotive heartbreak, the singer-songwriter's music became a favourite with TV producers, with Grey's Anatomy, House and ER among many shows to use tracks to soundtrack emotional scenes. Second album 9 (2006) topped the Irish charts and sold well across the world, and Rice went on to play at the Wembley Stadium leg of the Live Earth gigs and at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo.