RICKY SKAGGS FACTS:
Genre: Country, Bluegrass
Hometown: Blaine, Kentucky
Albums: That's It (1975); Sweet Temptation (1979); Waitin' for the Sun to Shine (1981); Family & Friends (1982); Highway & Heartaches (1982); Don't Cheat in Our Hometown (1983); Country Boy (1984); Favorite Country Songs (1985); Love's Gonna Get Ya! (1986); Comin' Home to Stay (1988); Kentucky Thunder (1989); My Father's Son (1991); Solid Ground (1995); Life Is a Journey (1997); Big Mon: The Songs of Bill Monroe (2000); Ricky Skaggs and Friends Sing the Songs of Bill Monroe (2002); Solo (Songs My Dad Loved) (2009); Mosaic (2010);
Awards: 13 Grammy Awards, 7 CMAs
Hits: "Crying My Heart Out Over You," "I Don't Care," "Heartbroke," "I Wouldn't Change You If I Could," "Highway 40 Blues," "Don't Cheat in Our Hometown," "Honey (Open That Door)," "Uncle Pen," "Country Boy," "Cajun Moon," "Lovin' Only Me"
Other: Wanted to audition for the Grand Ole Opery at age 7.
Coming out of the backwoods of Blaine, Kentucky, Ricky Skaggs has bluegrass flowing through his veins. Over the last 40 years, the multitalented Skaggs has been a mainstay in the country music world and remains a favorite among fans of the genre.
Skaggs got his start in music at a very young age when he began playing the mandolin when he was just 5-years-old. The instrument has remained his primary instrument despite the fact he has become an expert in the banjo, guitar and fiddle.
Not content to be just another kid, Skaggs became somewhat of a child prodigy. He began performing at 7, and by the time he was a teenager he was arranging music for other acts. In 1975, he released his debut album, That’s It. Though it was a good stepping stone, it was not until the next decade that Skaggs found greater success.
In 1981, Skaggs released his third album, Waitin’ for the Sun to Shine. The record contained a number of popular singles including “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin',” “You May See Me Walkin',” “Cryin' My Heart Out Over You” and “I Don’t Care.” The latter two tracks both reached number one on the country chart. Spurred by the popularity of its singles, the album peaked at number two on country charts as well. The record also found success on pop charts, reaching number 77.
Throughout the rest of the ‘80s, Skaggs continued to produce music that was beloved by country fans. Between 1982 and 1984, he had back-to-back-to-back number one albums, culminating in ‘84’s Country Boy.
Though it was difficult for Skaggs to recreate the immense popularity he saw in the mid ‘80s, he continued to be a prolific artist over the next 10 years. Throughout the ‘90s and into the 2000s, he began to go back to his bluegrass roots.
Most recently, Skaggs has even been able to crossover and perform with artists from a wide variety of genres including Phish to the White Stripes’ Jack White, and even released an album with Bruce Hornsby.
With 14 Grammy Awards under his belt, and a number of honors from the Country Music Association, it’s safe to say Skaggs will go down as a legend of the bluegrass genre.