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Vincent Grant "Vince" Gill (born April 12, 1957) is an American country singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He has achieved commercial success and fame both as frontman to the country rock band Pure Prairie League in the 1970s and as a solo artist beginning in 1983, where his talents as a vocalist and musician have placed him in high demand as a guest vocalist and a duet partner.
Gill has recorded more than 20 studio albums, charted over 40 singles on the U.S. Billboard charts as Hot Country Songs, and has sold more than 26 million albums. He has been honored by the Country Music Association with 18 CMA Awards, including two Entertainer of the Year awards and five Male Vocalist Awards. Gill has also earned 20 Grammy Awards, more than any other male country music artist. In 2007 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Vince Gill was born in Norman, Oklahoma. His mother had a son, Bob Coen, from a previous marriage. He was Gill's half-brother, but was considered a full brother by Gill. His father, J. Stanley Gill, was a lawyer and administrative law judge who played in a country music band part-time and encouraged Gill to pursue a music career. His father encouraged him to learn to play banjo and guitar, which he did along with bass, mandolin, dobro and fiddle.
Gill attended high school at Oklahoma City's Northwest Classen High School. While there he performed bluegrass in the band Mountain Smoke, which built a strong local following. After graduating from high school in 1975, he moved to Louisville, Kentucky, to join the band Bluegrass Alliance. Afterwards he spent a brief amount of time in Ricky Skaggsâ™s Boone Creek band before moving to Los Angeles to join Sundance, a bluegrass group fronted by fiddler Byron Berline.
In 1979 Gill joined Pure Prairie League as lead singer, recording three albums with the band. He left them in 1981 to join Cherry Bombs, the stage band which backed Rodney Crowell. There he worked with Tony Brown and Emory Gordy Jr., both of whom would later produce many of his albums.
Gill debuted on the national scene with the country rock band Pure Prairie League in 1979, appearing on that band's album Can't Hold Back. He is the lead singer on their hit song "Let Me Love You Tonight". Mark Knopfler once invited him to join Dire Straits, but he declined the offer (although he sang backup on the Dire Straits' album On Every Street). He provided background vocals for the song "Tennessee Line", from Daughtry's second studio album, Leave This Town.
Gill has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1991.
In July 2011, Gill appeared as a guest on NPR's news quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me. Also in 2011, he appeared on the second of two bluegrass tribute albums for the British rock band The Moody Blues: Moody Bluegrass TWO... Much Love (2011).
In February 2012, Gill announced, "For the first time in 30 years, I don't have a record deal. Don't know that I want one." In March 2012, he performed at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for its opening night. In April 2012, it was confirmed that Gill had been working with Bonnie Tyler on her upcoming album, performing a duet with her entitled "What You Need from Me". In June 2012, he was touring and performing only bluegrass songs.
Gill received the 2,478th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 6, 2012.
On October 15, 2012, it was announced that Gill would be featured in a song by Kelly Clarkson titled "Don't Rush", which appears on Clarkson's first Greatest Hits album. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA and has sold 509,093 copies as of October 13, 2013. The two debuted the song at the 2012 CMA Awards on November 1, 2012.
In 2010, Gill officially joined the country swing group The Time Jumpers.
On November 5, 2014, at the 48th annual CMA Awards Gill received the Irving Waugh award for excellence in country music. This was only the fourth time the award had been granted since its inception in 1983. The previous country music artist to receive the award was Johnny Cash.
In his career Gill has sold more than 26 million albums and accumulated more than 50 Top 40 hits.
In 1968 Gill's older brother, Bob Coen, was involved in a severe car crash. Bob was 22 years old at the time, while Gill was 11. The accident placed him in a coma for three months and left him with non-reversible brain damage. Coen subsequently struggled in life and would lose contact with his family and friends. He died in 1993. Gill wrote the song "It Won't Be the Same This Year" for his brother. He dedicated his 1993 Christmas album Let There Be Peace on Earth and his first televised Christmas special that year to his brother Bob.
Gill met country music singer Janis Oliver of Sweethearts of the Rodeo in Los Angeles when they were both starting out in music. The two married in 1980. Their daughter Jenny was born in 1982. In 1983 the couple moved to Nashville. Gill worked as a session guitarist, sang back-up and continued to write songs while his wife's career reached notoriety. Occasionally Gill would mix sound for his wife's band. The two divorced in 1997.
Gill met Christian music artist Amy Grant in 1993 when he asked her to perform in his first televised Christmas special. They formed a lasting friendship. Both parties were in troubled marriages. Grant and then husband Gary Chapman began divorce mediation in 1998, with Grant moving out of the home and filing for divorce in early 1999. The divorce was finalized in June 1999. Gill and Grant began to see each other publicly a few months later. In March 2000 they were married. Together they have one daughter, Corrina. Though they had no physical relationship while involved in their first marriages, the divorces caused a certain amount of disquiet in their fan base. Gill's concert at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City, Missouri, was picketed September 8, 2013 by the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, over his divorce and subsequent remarriage to Grant.
Gill has a keen interest in golf and has been playing since early childhood. A scratch golfer, he has organized and participated in many charity events centered around golf. In 1993 Gill founded the Vinny Pro-Celebrity Golf Invitational, which serves as the primary beneficiary for the Tennessee Golf Foundation. In 2003 the PGA awarded him the PGA Distinguished Service Award for his work in charity and in promoting junior golf.
Gill and Amy are fans of the Nashville Predators ice hockey team, having been season ticket holders since the opening season. In the 2007 playoffs, they sang the national anthem for each game. In addition, Gill is a member of the Board of Directors of the Predator Foundation charity organization.
1984: Turn Me Loose
1985: The Things That Matter
1987: The Way Back Home
1989: When I Call Your Name
1991: Pocket Full of Gold
1992: I Still Believe in You
1993: Let There Be Peace on Earth
1994: When Love Finds You
1995: The Essential Vince Gill
1996: High Lonesome Sound
1998: The Key
1998: Breath of Heaven: A Christmas Collection
2000: Let's Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye
2000: 'Tis the Season (with Olivia Newton-John)
2003: Next Big Thing
2006: These Days
2011: Guitar Slinger
2016: Down to My Last Bad Habit
Academy of Country Music
1984 Top New Male Vocalist
1992 Song of the Year with John Barlow Jarvis - "I Still Believe In You"
1992 Top Male Vocalist
1993 Top Male Vocalist
Country Music Association
1990 Single of the Year - "When I Call Your Name"
1991 Male Vocalist of the Year
1992 Male Vocalist of the Year
1992 Song of the Year with Max D. Barnes - "Look At Us"
1993 Album of the Year - "I Still Believe in You"
1993 Male Vocalist of the Year
1993 Song of the Year with John Barlow Jarvis - "I Still Believe in You"
1993 Entertainer of the Year
1994 Entertainer of the Year
1994 Male Vocalist of the Year
1995 Male Vocalist of the Year
1999 Vocal Event of the Year with Patty Loveless - "My Kind of Woman, My Kind of Man"
2014 Irving Waugh Award of Excellence
2014 BMI Icon Award
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Inducted in 2007
Grammy Awards (He won twenty awards from forty nominations.)
1990 Best Country Vocal Performance, Male - "When I Call Your Name"
1991 Best Country Vocal Collaboration with Ricky Skaggs and Steve Wariner - "Restless"
1992 Best Country Song with John Barlow Jarvis - "I Still Believe in You"
1992 Best Country Vocal Performance, Male - "I Still Believe in You"
1993 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Asleep at the Wheel, Chet Atkins, Eldon Shamblin, Johnny Gimble, Marty Stuart, and Reuben "Lucky Oceans" Gosfield - "Red Wing"
1994 Best Country Vocal Performance, Male - "When Love Finds You"
1995 Best Country Song - "Go Rest High on That Mountain"
1995 Best Male Country Vocal Performance - "Go Rest High on That Mountain"
1996 Best Male Country Vocal Performance - "Worlds Apart"
1997 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Randy Scruggs - "A Soldier's Joy"
1997 Best Male Country Vocal Performance - "Pretty Little Adriana"
1998 Best Male Country Vocal Performance - "If You Ever Have Forever In Mind"
1999 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Tommy Allsup, Asleep at the Wheel, Floyd Domino, Larry Franklin, and Steve Wariner - "Bob's Breakdowns"
2001 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Jerry Douglas, Glen Duncan, Albert Lee, Steve Martin, Leon Russell, Earl Scruggs, Gary Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Paul Shaffer and Marty Stuart - "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"
2002 Best Male Country Vocal Performance - "The Next Big Thing"
2006 Best Male Country Vocal Performance - "The Reason Why"
2007 Best Country Album - "These Days"
2008 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Brad Paisley, James Burton, John Jorgenson, Albert Lee, Brent Mason, Redd Volkaert and Steve Wariner - "Cluster Pluck"
Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2005
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Inducted in 2012
Best selling music artists
How to Capture Vince Gillâ™s Guitar Tone
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