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 24 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, Gill was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Vincent Grant "Vince" Gill was born in Norman, Oklahoma. 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. With the encouragement of his father, Gill learned to play several instruments, including the banjo and guitar, before he started high school at Oklahoma City's Northwest Classen High School. He first played with a teenage band called The Bluegrass Revue in the late 1970s. The other members were Billy Perry on the banjo, Bobby Clark on the mandolin, and Mike Perry on the bass.
While in high school, he performed with Flock and Mountain Smoke, bluegrass bands that once opened for Pure Prairie League and Kiss. After he graduated, he played in a number of bluegrass bands, including Ricky Skaggs' Boone Creek and Byron Berline and Sundance. Later, he became a member of Rodney Crowell's road band, The Cherry Bombs.
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. Gill is the lead singer on their hit song "Let Me Love You Tonight". Mark Knopfler once invited Gill to join Dire Straits, but Gill declined the offer (although he sang backup on the Dire Straits' album On Every Street). Gill 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.
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, Gill 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. The only other country music artist to receive this award was Johnny Cash.
Gill married country singer Janis Oliver of Sweethearts of the Rodeo fame, in 1980, and they had one daughter. Gill occasionally mixed sound for his wife's band at concerts. They separated in the mid-1990s and eventually divorced in June 1998. Gill married Christian/pop singer Amy Grant in March 2000. They have one daughter. Gill and Grant are fans of the Nashville Predators, having been season ticket holders since the opening season and who are often shown on the jumbo screen. In the 2007 playoffs, they sang the national anthem for each game.
On Sunday, September 8, 2013, Gill's concert at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City, Missouri, was picketed by the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church based on claims that he is an adulterer for having divorced his first wife to marry Grant.
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