Born in 1952 in Danville, Virginia, country artist Ricky Van Shelton grew up singing gospel music, inspired by his father’s actions in the same genre. He also enjoyed pop music, however, and, later, country. He began singing in his brother’s country band at any local gathering he could get. After graduating from high school, he moved to Nashville, where he landed a job as a recording artist with CBS. Since then, he has released a string of successful singles, and, in 1988, was invited to join the ranks of the Grand Ole Opry.
Shelton has released nine studio albums and twenty-seven singles during his career. Twelve of his singles reached the Number One spot. His chart toppers have included “Somebody Lied,” “Life Turned Her That Way,” “From a Jack to a King,” “Living Proof,” I’ve Cried My Last Tear for You” and “Keep It Between the Lines.”
Shelton has won three awards in his career, as well. He was awarded the 1987 Academy of Country Music’s Top New Male Vocalist award. From the Country Music Association, he was awarded the 1988 Horizon Award and the 1989 Male Vocalist of the Year award.
In May of 2006, Shelton announced his retirement from touring to spend more time with his family. He has kept himself busy also with jobs as a painter, pilot, collector and author. He has written a series of children’s books about a duck named Quacker, which has sold over 200,000 copies.
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