Ricky Skaggs (born July 18, 1954 in Lawrence County, Kentucky) is a 14 time Grammy Winner and a country and bluegrass star, singer, musician, producer, and composer.

Skaggs's music career began in 1970 when he joined Ralph Stanley's bluegrass band, the Clinch Mountain Boys. He plays mandolin, fiddle, guitar and banjo. For a few years, Skaggs was a member of Emmylou Harris's "Hot Band". He wrote the arrangements for Harris's bluegrass-roots album, Roses in the Snow. In addition to arranging, Skaggs sang harmony, and played mandolin and fiddle. In 2000, he shared the stage with the now defunct jam band Phish. Skaggs moved to Nashville in 1980 and was signed to Sony Records, where he produced his debut album, Waitin' For The Sun To Shine. The album produced four successful singles, including two number one country hits. Many people say he rescued country music from the doldrums it had found itself in the 1970s. He was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry in 1982. He racked up 12 number one hits and 6 top ten singles during the 1980s. Skaggs picked up dozens of industry awards in the ensuing years.

He has made many fans due to his dedication to the traditional bluegrass style of music. "I always want to try to promote the old music, as well as trying to grow (musically), and be a pioneer too," Skaggs once said. Because of this approach to his music, Skaggs has been considered to be the founding father of Neotraditional Country.

From Wikipedia;

Early career:

Ricky Skaggs started playing music after he was given a mandolin by his fater, Hobert. At age 5, he played mandolin on stage with Bill Monroe. At age 6, he appeared on television's Martha White country music variety show, playing with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. he also wanted to audition for the Grand Ole Opry at the time, but was told he was too young.

In his mid-teens, Skaggs met a fellow teen prodigy, guitarist Keith Whitley and the two started playing together with Whitley's banjoist brothr Dwight on radio shows. By 1970, they had earned a spot opening for Ralph Stanley and Skaggs and Keith Whitley were thereafter invited to join Stanley's band, the Clinch Mountain Boys.

Skaggs later joined J.D. Crowe's New South. For a few years, Skaggs was a member of Emmylou Harris's Hot Band. He wrothe the arrangements for Harris's 1980 bluegrass-roots album, Roses in the Snow. In addition to arranging for Harris, Skaggs sang harmony and played mandolin and fiddle.

Neotraditionalism and experimentation:

Into the 1990s and 2000s, Skaggs has embraced his bluegrass roots, as well as experimenting with new sounds. With his band, Kentucky Thunder, he is a perennial winner of Grammy Awards and International Bluegrass Music Association for best bluegrass album.

"I always want to try to promote the old music, as well as trying to grow, and be a pioneer too, "Skaggs once said.

In 2000, he shared the stage with Vermont-based jam band, Phis. On March 20, 2007, Skaggs released an album with rock musician Burce Hornsby.

In 2007, Skaggs is slated to release and album he recorded with The Whites on his Skaggs Family Records label.

In 2008, Skaggs recorded a bluegrass version of "old Enough" by the Raconteurs with Ashley Monroe and the Raconteurs. He Played mandolin on the track as well as shared vocals with jack White, Brendan Benson, and Ashley Monroe.

Grammy awards

* 1983 Best Country Instrumental Performance: New South (J.D. Crowe, Jerry Douglas, Todd Phillips, Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs) for Fireball * 1984 Best Country Instrumental Performance: Ricky Skaggs for Wheel Hoss * 1986 Best Country Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist): Ricky Skaggs for Raisin' The Dickins * 1991 Best Country Vocal Collaboration: Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner & Vince Gill for Restless * 1999 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Bluegrass Rules! * 1998 Best Country Collaboration with Vocals: Clint Black, Joe Diffie, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt & Dwight Yoakam for Same Old Train * 2000 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Ancient Tones * 2000 Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Soldier Of The Cross * 2003 Best Country Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocal: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for A Simple Life * 2004 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Brand New Strings * 2006 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Instrumentals * 2006 Best Musical Album For Children, "Songs From The Neighborhood, The Music Of Mr. Rogers" * 2008 Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album: Ricky Skaggs and The Whites for Salt Of The Earth * 2009 Best Bluegrass Album "Honoring The Fathers Of Bluegrass 1946 & 47"

CMA (Country Music Association) Awards

* 1982 Male Vocalist of the Year: Ricky Skaggs * 1982 Horizon Award: Ricky Skaggs * 1983 Instrumental Group of the Year: Ricky Skaggs Band * 1984 Instrumental Group of the Year: Ricky Skaggs Band * 1985 Entertainer of the Year: Ricky Skaggs * 1985 Instrumental Group of the Year: Ricky Skaggs Band * 1987 Vocal Duo of the Year: Ricky Skaggs & Sharon White

IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Awards

* 1998 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder * 1998 Album Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder for Bluegrass Rules! * 1999 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder * 2000 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder * 2000 Instrumental Album Of The Year: David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury, Sam Bush, Frank Wakefield, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Ricky Skaggs & Buck White for Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza * 2000 Recorded Event Of The Year: David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury, Sam Bush, Frank Wakefield, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Ricky Skaggs & Buck White for Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza * 2002 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder * 2003 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder * 2004 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder * 2005 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder * 2006 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Other Awards and Accomplishments

* R&R Best New Artist * Billboard magazine's Artist of the Year * Musician Magazine- Voted One of the Top 100 Guitarists of the Century * Artist of the Decade- Listeners' Poll Award BBC Radio 2 * CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music rank #37 in 2003. * Judge for the 2nd annual Independent Music Awards

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