A mixture of country and bluegrass, artist Ricky Skaggs has made a name for himself in the country music industry. Born in July of 1954 in Cordell, Kentucky, Skaggs began playing music at the young age of five years. When he was six, he played the mandolin and sang on stage with Bill Monroe. The next year, he appeared on Martha White’s country music variety show. Then, he wanted to audition for the Grand Ole Opry, but was told he was too young. However, in 1982, after performing with fellow teen prodigy Keith Whitley and in Ralph Stanley’s band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Throughout his career, he has released over thirty studio albums and thirteen Number One singles. His first chart topper came in 1981 with “Crying My Heart Out Over You,” followed shortly after by four more consecutive Number One hits, including “I Don’t Care” and “Heartbroke.” His list continues with “Highway 40 Blues,” “Don’t Cheat in Our Hometown,” “Uncle Pen,” “Country Boy,” “Cajun Moon” and “Lovin’ Only Me.”
Besides being a member of the Grand Ole Opry, Skaggs has won fourteen Grammy Awards throughout his career, for Best Country Instrumental Performance, Best Bluegrass Album, Best Musical Album and Best Country Vocal Collaboration. He has also won several CMA Awards, a dozen International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, Billboard magazine’s Artist of the Year award and ACM’s Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. He has also been named Artist of the Decade by Listeners’ Poll on BBC Radio 2 and was voted one of the Top 100 Guitarists of the Century by Musician Magazine.
In the 90s and 2000s, Skaggs mixed in experimentation with his bluegrass sounds, attributing to his long list of IBMA awards.