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Ricky Van Shelton

Ricky Van Shelton was one of country music's biggest male stars during the late '80s and early '90s, prior to the emergence of crossover sensations like Garth Brooks. Van Shelton's smooth baritone croon made him especially popular as a country-pop ballad stylist, but elsewhere he incorporated elements of rock, gospel, and classic honky tonk. Van Shelton was born in Danville, VA, in 1952 and grew up in the small town of Grit. He learned to sing at church and discovered country music as a teenager, performing at local gatherings whenever he could. After high school, he played the area club circuit and worked a series of day jobs, and in late 1984 he finally made the move to Nashville to make it in the business. He performed in nightclubs until a local newspaper columnist heard his demo and helped arrange a showcase that landed Van Shelton a deal with CBS in 1986.

Van Shelton released his debut album, Wild-Eyed Dream, in 1987, and his first-ever single, "Crime of Passion," hit the country Top Ten. Its follow-up, "Somebody Lied," went all the way to number one; so did the album, and so did another single, "Life Turned Her That Way." Van Shelton quickly recorded a follow-up album, Loving Proof, which appeared in 1988 and also topped the country charts; it spun off three number one hits in "I'll Leave This World Loving You," "From a Jack to a King," and "Living Proof," while "Hole in My Pocket" made the Top Five. While readying his third proper album, Van Shelton also completed two specialty projects: the 1989 holiday album Ricky Van Shelton Sings Christmas and the 1990 gospel record Don't Overlook Salvation. Meanwhile, his official follow-up to Loving Proof, RVS III, was released in 1990 and became his third number one album. "I've Cried My Last Tear for You" gave him another number one single, while "I Meant Every Word He Said" and "Statue of a Fool" both topped out at number two; "Life's Little Ups and Downs" also made the Top Five. In 1991, Van Shelton teamed up with Dolly Parton for the chart-topping duet "Rockin' Years" and subsequently issued another album, Backroads. Though it just missed the top of the country charts, Backroads kept his hit streak going strong, producing two more number ones in "Keep It Between the Lines" and "I Am a Simple Man" (giving him a total of nine) and a number two hit in the title track.

Musical tastes can shift quickly, and by the time Van Shelton conquered the alcohol abuse that had begun to take a toll on his personal life, Garth Brooks was completely altering the contemporary country landscape. To hold fans over, he released Greatest Hits Plus in 1992, and its newly recorded track, "Wild Man," hit the Top Five. He returned in 1993 with A Bridge I Didn't Burn, but the album didn't spawn any huge hits, as had been expected; it went gold, but it was the only Van Shelton album to date that ultimately failed to go platinum. 1994's Love and Honor continued his commercial downturn, and tensions with Columbia led Van Shelton to part ways with his label a couple years later. He busied himself with, among other projects, a series of children's books centered around the character Quacker the Duck that he'd begun several years earlier. He also formed his own label, RVS, and recorded an album on his own called Making Plans, which he distributed via an exclusive agreement with the Wal-Mart store chain in 1997. The following year, Vanguard stepped in to give the record a wider release. Van Shelton subsequently signed with the Audium label, home to many veteran country artists, and recorded a new album, Fried Green Tomatoes, in 2000. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Living proof
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ANY RELATION TO BLAKE SHELTON?
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WHAT HAPPENED TO RICKY VAN SHELTON I REALLY LIKE HIS MUSIC? I HOPE TO HERE FROM IN THE NEAR FUTURE. AND HE IS NICE TO LOOK AT!!!!!
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I don't normally care for remakes, but Ricky Van Shelton did an amazing job. I still love Jack Greene's version, however as a diehard Jack Greene fan, it would not be fair to diminish this rendition!
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His debut album Wild Eyed Dream a classic LP... Somebody Lied was his first #1 song...
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He's the best


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cmja2010
Oh, I was so in love with Ricky's music!!
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Come back ricky
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Ricky Van Shelton sings some of my favorite songs.
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Great song
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My dad loves this song! Yay!
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I love you. Ricky van shelton
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rvs and randy travis s how i got into country music hes a great singer
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plbee3
One of my absolute favorites.
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Miss you Ricky
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statue of a fool reminder me so much of my self back in the day great song.beautif u l lyrical s Ricky van Shelton. is a great artist Orlando fla /
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libertyladyb l u e
Rickey's voice and music has always been well worth listening to then as well as Now. One of the best is Statue of a Fool. If He would come back we all his fans would put him on the number one Top Tens AGAIN. Shirley
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It is too bad Ricky is not on the music scene any more.
GOPMaven
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Man I love his voice
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wish there was more i love his voice!!!
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RVS no matter what KNOW you are loved. Your a gift and you are missed! Thank you God Be with you as I know HE is
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There is a story of him seeing the devil on his tour bus on one of his drinking binges. Since that day he quit drinking and became a born again Christian. I love his music!
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love ricky van shelton. his eyes could melt your heart!!!
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He such and excellent voice. I was sad to find out he had retired.
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plbee3
Love his music. Wish he would perform again.
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I was lucky enough to see Ricky in concert in Albany Ga. The prettiest song he ever sang to me was I'll Leave This World Loving You!! I still have a picture of him in my Album, He's one of the best looking men I have ever seen, and he has a beautiful voice to match!! I would love to see him in concert again at the age he is now, some people get better with maturity !! I now live in Florida, maybe he'll come to Panama City!!
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Great country singer, i miss hearing his songs on the radio. I rather listen to his music on country radio better than the so called country s**t thats on the radio now.
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He was the entertainmen t at the San Antonio Rodeo when I first saw him, many years ago. That is all it took! I've been in love ever since! What a voice! What great lyrics (with lots of meaning)! AND....what a beautiful face! So nice to look at!
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RICKY VAN SHELTON WILL ALWAYS BE ONE OF MY FAVORITE SINGERS!
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maryloftus
Ricky has the best voice in country music. Cannot imagine other artists being happy at the thought of him performing 'their' songs. He outshines the lot. Great memories of seeing him live three times. I wish him health and happiness.
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pv524
Love Ricky Van Shelton!!! Saw him twice in concert, great performer and his music is unlike any toher singer.
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HIS CAREER WENT DOWN, BECAUSE HE ANNOUNCED THAT MOST OF HIS SONGS WERE BASED ON GOSPEL LYRICS! I LOVE HIS SONGS ANYWAYS!
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tisha21286
What is he doing now? I never hear him on the radio.
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there's alot of good country music artists and songs today but I still think classic country music is the best. I miss ricky van shelton he had a great voice.
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vtmunchkin
He was truly a great country singer,he had a wide range of music from Gospel to pure country. I sure miss him. Good Luck to him in whatever he chooses to do. You are missed by real country fans!!!!!!!
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Close your eyes and it sounds like Elvis singing "Pretty WOman"
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I've been a fan of Ricky Van Shelton since 1987. I read the book, She Stays, his wife Bettye wrote. I know there was tremendous pain with this couple but they allowed God to take over. He sings country ballads better than any singer I've heard. He seems sincere and passionate. I hope he will record a gospel album and Christmas album in addition to what he's done. I wish him and Bettye God's speed. Always a fan, Gwen
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my mom loved his music and till today i learned to love it to he is such a wonerful artist with such a wonderful voice
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I love his music!
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the one to listen to when the blues gets around....su r e miss him!!!
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Love every song he sings
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gwendolynwea v e r
I believe Ricky Van Shelton is a kind, good-hearted person. He would have to be to give his life back to God and Bettye. The devil always tries to tear lives apart, but like Ricky said, God can beat him. Gwen Weaver, a fan of Ricky Van Shelton since 1987.
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woelkerst
Gosh I sure miss him. Wish he was still recording.
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I really love him. You can tell that he sings from his heart and that he truly loves what he does. I don't think he could do a bad song if he tried.
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leslie.hoffm a n 9
A truly talented & heart felt artist!
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My favorite country singer, love all his songs. Wish he was still performing.
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buckin1
I agree with cldavis...po s t e d 11-21-07!
I've seen Ricky a couple of times and he's got such a great voice...he's what you'd call a crooner! So many many of his songs I like but my very all time favorite is "Statue of a Fool"!!! That song could always bring me to tears, and his voice is so perfect for it too.
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I like that he sings songs that I can relate to. And that the song are still country with a story being told
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bobnvb8
he is my favorite singer of all times. Hope his personal life is wonderful, he deserves to be happy.
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Whish Rick would tour again. Never got to see him but wow what a voice. Have every CD available of his.They never get old listening to a voice like his.
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