Grammy Award-Winning mandolin virtuoso Ricky Skaggs honed his country/bluegrass skills early in life, when he played alongside the father of bluegrass himself, Bill Monroe. Also playing the guitar, fiddle, banjo and mandocaster, Skaggs makes frequent tour stops in venues across the U.S.
Ricky Skaggs's background
Few musicians can claim as early a breakthrough as Ricky Skaggs. Born in Cordell, Kent., his father gave him his first mandolin at age five. A remarkably quick study, Skaggs would soon share the stage with bluegrass legend Bill Monroe, as a six-year-old. This iconic moment marked the beginning of a successful bluegrass career.
The following year, Skaggs was invited to perform with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs on their TV show, gaining him additional exposure. By his teens, he was playing in Ralph Stanley's band, the Clinch Mountain Boys. A variety of other musical experiments, including The Country Gentlemen, Boone Creek and Emmylou Harris's Hot Band, followed before Skaggs fully launched his solo country career in 1980. His 1981 album Waitin' for the Sun to Shine rose to No. 2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and several of the singles reached No. 1. He was recognized at the Country Music Awards as Male Vocalist of the Year in addition to being granted the Horizon Award.
In 1982, he became the youngest ever Grand Ole Opry inductee, and in 1984, he won his first Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Performance for his single "Fireball." It was the start of a successful career at the Grammys; he would win two more awards for instrumental performance as well as in several other categories, most notably for Best Bluegrass Album, an award he picked up no fewer than five times. Skaggs has also been recognized on numerous occasions by the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music, the International Bluegrass Music Association and by others.
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