One of the most popular and influential performers of the 70s and 80s in country music, Ronnie Milsap was born in January of 1943. He was born with a congenital disorder that left him almost completely blind. During his childhood, he lost his remaining vision. However, he still contained a love for music that did not go unnoticed by his instructors. He became classical music and mastered the piano. Over the next few years, he developed a passion for rock and roll. After briefly attending college in Georgia, he left to pursue a career in music full time. In the early 60s, he played his first professional gigs as a member of J.J. Cale’s band. Also in the early 1960s, he released his first single and soon after became an R&B artist for Scepter Records. In late 1972, he moved to Nashville, where he changed course to try his hand at country music. There, he gained great success in the genre, and became a member of the esteemed Grand Ole Opry in 1976.
Throughout his years as both an R&B performer and a country artist, Milsap peaked at the Number One spot numerous times with his singles like “Pure Love,” “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends,” “(I’m A) Stand by My Woman Man,” “Let My Love Be Your Pillow,” “Only One Love in My Life,” “Nobody Likes Sad Songs,” My Heart” and “Cowboys and Clowns,” among many others.
He has been recognized countless times by the Academy of Country Music, Billboard magazine, CMA, the Grammys and Music City News Country. He has won six Grammy awards, including five Best Male Country Vocal Performance and one Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for his work on “Make No Mistake, She’s Mine” with Kenny Rogers.
In 2002, he was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. He has also sold over thirty-five million albums and has had forty Number One hits. In 2006, he was awarded the Career Achievement Award by Country Radio Seminar. The next year, he also received the Rocketown Legend Award.
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