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Vince Gill

Vince Gill paid nearly a decade-and-a-half of dues en route to becoming one of the most popular country stars of the '90s. Starting out as a bluegrass singer and multi-instrumentalist, he initially made his name with country-rockers Pure Prairie League and spent the '80s as part of country's new traditionalist movement before finding massive success as a contemporary country hitmaker. Gill had strong mainstream appeal, yet enough songwriting chops and grounding in tradition that he could maintain his artistic credibility without being branded a crossover-happy hack. That balance made him the kind of performer who awards ceremonies can feel good about honoring, and honor him they did: Gill has won more CMA Awards than any performer in history, and his 14 Grammys tie him with Chet Atkins for the most ever by a country artist.

Vincent Grant Gill was born April 12, 1957, in Norman, Oklahoma. His father, a judge, played banjo and guitar, and Vince picked up both by his teen years; he later added fiddle, dobro, mandolin, and bass to his repertoire. In high school, Gill played in the bluegrass band Mountain Smoke, which gained enough of a local reputation to open a concert for Pure Prairie League. He graduated in 1975 and moved to Louisville, Kentucky to join the band Bluegrass Alliance, with whom he stayed for a year. He then briefly played with Ricky Skaggs' Boone Creek outfit before setting out for Los Angeles, where he joined fiddler Byron Berline's group Sundance. In 1979, he accompanied a friend to audition for Pure Prairie League, mostly out of curiosity as to whether they remembered his high school band, and they wound up hiring him as their lead singer. Gill recorded three albums with the band, helping them land a Top Ten pop hit with "Let Me Love You Tonight," and also began writing songs for them. He departed in 1981 to join Rodney Crowell's backing band, the Cherry Bombs, where he met Emory Gordy, Jr., and Tony Brown, both of whom would later produce his solo records. In 1982, he appeared on the David Grisman album Here Today, and the following year he landed a solo deal with RCA thanks to his connection with Brown.

Gill, his wife Janis (née Oliver, a member of the Sweethearts of the Rodeo), and their young daughter moved to Nashville. With Gordy producing, Gill issued his debut mini-album, Turn Me Loose, in 1984, with a style in keeping with his recent country-rock past. He notched his first charting country single with the minor Top 40 entry "Victim of Life's Circumstance," and the following year completed his follow-up, The Things That Matter. A duet with Rosanne Cash, "If It Weren't for Him," gave Gill his first Top Ten hit, and his next single, "Oklahoma Borderline," duplicated its predecessor's success. 1987's The Way Back Home gave Gill his biggest RCA hit in the Top Five "Cinderella." In the meantime, he also worked as a session guitarist, wrote songs for other artists, and toured with Emmylou Harris.

In 1989, Gill left RCA to sign with MCA, where he reunited with Tony Brown, now a successful producer. Though he'd enjoyed some success in his own right, Gill wasn't really a star. That all changed with the release of his label debut, 1989's When I Call Your Name. A duet with Reba McEntire, "Oklahoma Swing," made the Top 20, but the title track was the true break-out hit, climbing to number two and winning Gill his first Grammy. Its follow-up, "Never Knew Lonely," hit number three, and the album went on to sell over a million copies. Perhaps partly as a result, Gill declined an offer from Mark Knopfler to become a full-time member of Dire Straits. Gill's follow-up album, 1991's Pocket Full of Gold, was another platinum smash, giving him four Top Ten singles in "Liza Jane," the title track, "Look at Us," and the number two smash "Take Your Memory with You." 1992's I Still Believe in You made Gill an outright superstar; the title ballad was an enormous hit that became his first number one single, and its follow-up, "Don't Let Our Love Start Slippin' Away," also topped the charts. The album took only a few months to go platinum, and still spun off more hits: two more number ones in "One More Last Chance" and "Tryin' to Get Over You," and the number three "No Future in the Past." Additionally, "The Heart Won't Lie," another duet with McEntire from her It's Your Call album, went to number one in 1993. Over the next few years, I Still Believe in You would sell over four million copies.

Gill issued the stopgap holiday album Let There Be Peace on Earth in late 1993, and returned with When Love Finds You in 1994, which became his first album to break the pop Top Ten. It, too, sold over four million copies, and gave him five Top Five country hits: "What the Cowgirls Do," the title track, "Whenever You Come Around," "Which Bridge to Cross (Which Bridge to Burn)," and "You Better Think Twice." Gill was clearly a country hit factory by this point, but instead of coasting into the inevitable decline, he got more ambitious with his next project, 1996's High Lonesome Sound. Returning to his bluegrass roots, Gill crafted a tour of American roots music styles that earned him some positive critical attention, even if overall reviews were mixed. It proved commercially potent as well, giving him several more hits, including the Top Fivers "Worlds Apart," "Pretty Little Adriana," and "A Little More Love." In 1998, Gill released his most universally acclaimed album, The Key, which was both a return to hardcore country and a chronicle of the breakup of his marriage to Janis Oliver. Although country radio shied away from its more traditional approach (save for the Top Five hit "If You Ever Have Forever in Mind"), it sold well, going platinum and becoming Gill's first album -- surprisingly -- to top the country charts.

Rumors about Gill's relationship with pop singer and onetime Christian star Amy Grant proved to be true, and the couple married in early 2000. Gill's next album, Let's Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye, was largely a tribute to his new romance that many critics found overly sentimental. It gave him another Top Ten hit in "Feels Like Love," but it was uncharacteristically snubbed come Grammy time, despite securing four nominations. Gill returned to critical favor with his next outing, 2003's Next Big Thing, which marked the first time he produced an entire album on his own. In 2006, he released the ambitious These Days, a four-disc set of new material, on MCA Nashville. He followed it with another album of original material, Guitar Slinger, five years later in 2011. The album was recorded at Gill's home studio and featured contributions from Grant, and the couple’s three daughters, Jenny, Sarah, and Corinna. In 2013, Gill appeared on his wife's return to recording, How Mercy Looks from Here, in a guest duet on Earl Klugh's Hand Picked, and issued the roots country album, Bakersfield, in collaboration with pedal steel guitarist Paul Franklin. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

clubumad
Where's the lyrics of some of these songs!!!
twister11261 9 6 7
mdj dedicated . This song to Johnny and Mike
King of the ballads. Love his voice!
So miss' n U Ma & Pa!
He's a great perfomer. Great voice and plays a mighty fine guitar. Among the best!
The best I have heard bar none
Pandora your the best there are others but your the best at picking the great Artists and Vince is one of the Best. Yeee haaa Bluegrass love it absolutely love it.
dawnuhdoll
Please play High on the Mountain & Look at us now. Please!!!
bowyerfan
One of the best male vocalist and insturmental i s t s ever!!! Period!!
This song got me through pawpaws death I love you pawpaw and hope I see you soon.....her e ' s to every loved one who has left us and hope we can see them again
Please play Look at us
There will NEVER be anyone like Vince Gill. He is the absolute best.
Shirley
juanitamk
He played in Zanesville, Ohio Saturday night...Oct. 12, 2013...one of the best concerts ever!
I SAW HIM AT THE CASHAUTTA AND HE WAS AWESOME..LOV E HIM
I watched him in Bakersfield at the Fox. As he sang go high on the mountain I saw my Mom crying . Next to me was a young lady with her mom who was also crying. She explained that that song was played at her fathers funeral. We shed a tear on each others shoulder when I told her the same song was played at my fathers funeral as well. Vince has a special God given talent.
love him
I have LOVED Vince, since the very first time I ever saw him and heard him sing! What an AMAZING person :)
Saw him with The Time Jumpers, what a performance he put on and the respect everyone showed each other- a group of studio muscians. Vince really fits in with them.
most beautiful voice. what a gift to the world!!! love love this song. vince is the whole package!!!!
sherry2195
Vince Gill's slow songs can't be beat, he's the best, high on the mountains brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it.
He's absolutely the best male volalist of the century.
Please play Go Rest High On that mountain by Vince Gil---Thanks
I love any thing he sings what a voice please play go rest high on the mountain He puts so much feeling in all of his music he is the Best
I have loved Vince Gill from the first time I heard him sing. One of my favorites is Go Rest High On The Mountain. And the song about his brother is a tear jerkier. I want to hear him as long as I'm alive. To me he is the best ever, up there with George Jones. misselly from Texas
Vince Gill is absolutely the only man I would leave my husband of 29 years for. I listen to him everyday at work on Pandora
bobjacobs90
He Sings country, not the stuff they pass out as country. Maay his kind never fade away.
Vince Gill is The Man!' I go see him everytime he's in Michigan. In 2005 I actually met him back stage at The Fox Thearter in Detroit and he signed my guitar for my birthday! That guitar has never been played since!
Vince Gill,honored my husband favorite song at his memorial service after four decades of marriage. Just look at us now,it still makes my heart bleeds...Tha n k s Vill from Brie........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
We listen to Vince Gill on Pandora often. Come back and perform another awesome concert in MI sometime soon, Vince!
spartynmarty
My absolute all time favorite. Many close seconds, but Vince is the very best.
williamcaubl e
Hey isn't Guitar Slinger a Johnny Winters album title? Anyway, I love this song If I Die. Hey Vince, is 56 too old to get started singing/play i n g in this world? I'd like to give it a shot.
a1983heartbe a t 1
He is true in live concerts with his voice as it is on the radio and outstanding stage show. I would see you again anytime.
GREAT SINGER, i LOVE HIS SONG, GO HIGH ON A MOUNTAIN
His live concerts are awesome. Stays true to his sound. Love the eyes.
mschermer1
His Christmas song about missing his brother almost breaks your heart.
mschermer1
Love his music, his looks, and his picking.
love his songs just because my fiance favorite singer...lol
Not too many comments about how execellent VG can rip a guitar solo. Actually one of the most talented pickers out there today. Anybody realize he played lead for Pure Prarie League? Best song ever, Amie, and he didn't even sing, except you can hear his distinctive voice in the background.
i love his songs and him to lol he's cute
Its the sinserty in the voice, Almost caring.?
AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME that is all I can say!!
sylkittel
Vince Gill is the most romantic ballad singer in Country and Western today. It also helps that he's very hot looking.
george.bothw e l l 2
Great singer songwrter & musician plus seems like a good guy
GILL is just the greatest! What a mellow voice, good looking, and can he play the GUITAR? gen meyer As fot AMY GRANT, not my cup of tea?
Hard to say something good about Vince Gill that has not been said. I have been a fan of his for over twenty years. My dream day would be to hang with you, Vince, for a day...play golf and music together and meet your beautiful wife.

Dave Sandsave
julyspot
Love him
Guitarslinge r is a great name for mr. gills latest album & is exactly what he is.I had the chance to see him live in Pensacola,Fl o r i d a & he tore that strat with E.M.G.'s up.he's not only a great hitmaker , he's one of the best guitarplayer s around.I've been pickin' for the last 40 years and have copped a lot of guitar licks from him that I use often.
Thanks Vince for all the great music, keep it up.
danandileana
I don't think Vince Gill can write or sing a bad song. I can't wait to hear him live in 5 days. A dream come true!!!
mschermer1
His Christmas songs almost make you cry; they are so emotonal. He has been one of my favorites and I think I have every CD of his now.
he makes me cry when he sings cause he is such a wonderful singer and a great person that I Love for all his songs he has written to us to share and enjoy thank you Vince Gill love you forever and may GOD keep you and your family safe and healthy bless you my dear friend I would see again and again as long as I can walk...
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