Fifteen-time GRAMMY® Award-winner Ricky Skaggs’ career is easily among the most significant in recent country music history. His life’s path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music, to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact.
Skaggs emerged as a professional bluegrass musician in 1971, when he and his friend Keith Whitley were invited to join the legendary Ralph Stanley’s band the Clinch Mountain Boys. Skaggs then went on to record and perform with progressive bluegrass acts like the Country Gentlemen and J.D. Crowe & the New South, whose self-titled 1975 Rounder Records debut album was instantly recognized as a landmark bluegrass achievement. Skaggs turned to the more mainstream country music genre in the late ‘70s when he joined Emmylou Harris’s Hot Band, replacing Rodney Crowell.
In 1981, his Epic label debut album Waitin’ for the Sun to Shine topped the country charts and yielded a pair of #1 hits. Overall, his productive stay at Epic Records would result in a total of 12 #1 hits and garnered eight Country Music Association Awards--including the coveted Entertainer of the Year trophy in 1985. Over the past decade, he has been honored with inductions into the Gospel Music Association’s Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame. In 2018, a landmark year, Skaggs was also awarded membership into the National Fiddler Hall of Fame, the IBMA Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and country music’s greatest honor, the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Ricky struck his first chords on a mandolin over 50 years ago, and he continues to do his part to lead the recent roots revival in music. Clearly his passion for it puts him in the position to bring his lively, distinctively American form of music out of isolation and into the ears and hearts of audiences across the country and around the world. Ricky Skaggs is always forging ahead with cross-cultural, genre-bending musical ideas and inspirations.