|Born on: 07.11.1966
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Fortus cut his teeth throughout the Midwest with his band, The Eyes. The four-piece alternative band independently released "Freedom in a Cage", which was produced by David Probst. After signing with Atlantic Records, they changed their name to Pale Divine. They subsequently toured the U.S. in support of their only album, Straight to Goodbye, opening for The Psychedelic Furs.
After The Psychedelic Furs split up, Fortus formed Love Spit Love with Richard and Tim Butler. When The Furs reformed in 2000, Fortus joined the group as second guitarist and played on the live album 'Beautiful Chaos: Greatest Hits Live'.
Fortus has since left Love Spit Love and is now a member of Guns N' Roses, replacing Axl Rose's childhood friend Paul Tobias. In Guns N' Roses, Richard plays both rhythm and lead guitar. Axl is very pleased with Richard's work and has said, "He's an amazing lead player and very technically skilled. He really likes the pocket that Brain sets and the two of them click with Tommy so we finally have the real deal rhythm section, as Richard is a proven professional. Basically, Richard's the guy that we always were looking for."
Richard performed with Rihanna on her Good Girl Gone Bad world tour in 2007. On March 2008 it was announced that Richard was one of the guest guitarist on the upcoming shows of X Japan at the Tokyo Dome. He also contributed as guitar player on the debut CD of Paramount Styles. In 2009 he recorded a hard rock version of "The James Bond Theme" for the Guitar Hero video game series. This was released as downloadable content in March 2009. On the 2009-2011 Chinese Democracy Tour, he played this cover as a solo spot during shows. In 2011 he played with the reformed version of Thin Lizzy for the summer tour.