Vince Gill

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Vince Gill
Gill at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in September 2012
Background information
Birth name Vincent Grant Gill
Born (1957-04-12) April 12, 1957 (age 59)
Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.
Genres Country, bluegrass, blue-eyed soul, country pop, Southern rock
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1979–present
Labels RCA Nashville, MCA, MCA Nashville
Associated acts The Notorious Cherry Bombs, Pure Prairie League, Rodney Crowell, Ricky Skaggs

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. On February 4, 2016 Gill was inducted into the Guitar Center Rock Walk by Joe Walsh of the Eagles.[1]

Early life[edit]

Vince Gill was born in Norman, Oklahoma.[citation needed] 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.[2] His father, J. Stanley Gill, was a lawyer and administrative law judge[3] 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.[4]

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 Skaggs's Boone Creek band before moving to Los Angeles to join Sundance, a bluegrass group fronted by fiddler Byron Berline.


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 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.[5]

Gill left Pure Prairie League 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.[4]

Gill has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1991.[6] He celebrated his 25th Opry anniversary on August 13, 2016.[citation needed]

In 2010, Gill officially joined the country swing group The Time Jumpers.[7]

Gill playing at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2007

In July 2011, Gill appeared as a guest on NPR's news quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me.[8] 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).[9]

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."[10] 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".[11] In June 2012, he was touring and performing only bluegrass songs.[12]

Gill received the 2,478th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 6, 2012.[13]

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.[citation needed]

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.[14]

In 2016, Gill was selected as one of 30 artists to perform on Forever Country, which celebrates 50 years of the CMA Awards.[15]

In his career Gill has sold more than 26 million albums and accumulated more than 50 Top 40 hits.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Amy Grant and Vince Gill at a 2004 concert to show support for U.S. military men and women.

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.[2] 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.[14] 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.[17]

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.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19]

Gill and Grant 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.[citation needed] In addition, Gill is a member of the board of directors of the Predator Foundation charity organization.[20]


Vince Gill (right) performing with Amy Grant (left) and James Taylor at Tanglewood in 2011
Vince Gill (third from right) performing with The Time Jumpers in Golden Gate Park in 2012


Selected awards[edit]

Vince Gill and his wife Amy Grant were awarded the Class of 1966 Friend of West Point award in 2008.

Academy of Country Music

British Country Music Association

  • 2013 International Act of the Year

Country Music Association[22]

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Grammy Awards (He won twenty awards from forty nominations.)

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Midwest Communications Inc. "Eagles Guitarist Joe Walsh to Induct Vince Gill into Hollywood's RockWalk Next Month". WIN 98.5. Retrieved May 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Sharp, John (May 2, 2013). "Vince Gill Talks About Helping the Mobile Rescue Mission". Retrieved December 8, 2015. 
  3. ^ "The 85th PGA Championship / News / Vince Gill: A man whose life is in tune (8/13/03)". Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Vince Gill Official Site". Retrieved December 8, 2015. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Vince Gill". Grand Ole Opry. Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ Chancellor, Jennifer. "Gill joins Time Jumpers for debut album". Tulsa World. Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Show Info: 2011-07-02 | Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Stats and Show Details". 2011-07-02. Retrieved 2016-02-13. 
  9. ^ "Moody Bluegrass Two…Much Love". June 7, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  10. ^ Profile, theBoot website; retrieved August 15, 2013.
  11. ^ "Bonnie Tyler - What You Need From Me (With Vince Gill) Lyrics". Retrieved 2016-02-13. 
  12. ^ Palisin, Steve (June 7, 2012). "Vince Gill concert will be 'all bluegrass'". The Sun News. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Vince Gill Getting Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame". August 23, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Vince Gill Biography". Academy of Achievement. November 10, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  15. ^ "30 Country Music Stars Join Forces for Historic CMA Music Video". ABC News. September 16, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2016. 
  16. ^ Thompson, Gayle (September 5, 2015). "23 Years Ago: Vince Gill Earns First No. 1 Hit With 'I Still Believe in You'". the Boot. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Graham Kizer, Jennifer (January 4, 2010). "For Amy Grant and Vince Gill, the Second Time's the Charm". Good House Keeping. Retrieved December 9, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Watch: Vince Gill Confronts Westboro Baptist Church". Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  19. ^ Denney, Bob (2003). "A man whose life is in tune". Retrieved December 9, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Predators Foundation". Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Vince Gill Announces New Album, 'Down to My Last Bad Habit'". Retrieved 2016-02-13. 
  22. ^ "CMA AWARD WINNERS 1967-2011". Country Music Association. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 

External links[edit]