Richard Lee "Ricky" Skaggs (born July 18, 1954) is a country music|country and bluegrass music|bluegrass singing|singer, musician, producer, and composer. He primarily plays mandolin ; however, he also plays fiddle, guitar, mandocaster and banjo.
Ricky Skaggs was born in Cordell, Kentucky. He started playing music at age 5 after he was given a mandolin by his father, Hobert. At age 6, he played mandolin and sang on stage with Bill Monroe. At age 7, he appeared on television's Martha White country music variety show, playing with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. He also wanted to audition for the Grand Ole Opry at that time, but was told he was too young.
In his mid-teens, Skaggs met a fellow teen prodigy, guitarist Keith Whitley, and the two started playing together with Whitley's banjoist brother Dwight on radio shows. By 1970, they had earned a spot opening for Ralph Stanley and Skaggs and Keith Whitley were thereafter invited to join Stanley's band, the Ralph_Stanley#Clinch_Mountain_Boys|Clinch Mountain Boys
Skaggs later joined The Country Gentlemen in Washington, DC, J. D. Crowe 's New South (band)|New South. For a few years, Skaggs was a member of Emmylou Harris 's Hot Band. He wrote the arrangements for Harris's 1980 bluegrass-roots album, Roses in the Snow . In addition to arranging for Harris, Skaggs sang harmony and played mandolin and fiddle in the Hot Band.
Neotraditionalism and experimentation
Into the 1990s and 2000s, Skaggs has embraced his Bluegrass music|bluegrass roots, as well as experimenting with new sounds. With his band, Kentucky Thunder, he is a perennial winner of Grammy Awards and International Bluegrass Music Association for best bluegrass album. "I always want to try to promote the old music, as well as trying to grow, and be a pioneer too," Skaggs once said.
In 2000, he shared the stage with Vermont-based jam band, Phish. On March 20, 2007, Skaggs released an album with rock musician Bruce Hornsby.
In 2008, Skaggs released an album he recorded with The Whites on his Skaggs Family Records label.
In 2008, Skaggs recorded a bluegrass version of "Old Enough" by the Raconteurs with Ashley Monroe and the Raconteurs. He played mandolin on the track as well as sharing vocals with Jack White (musician)|Jack White, Brendan Benson, and Ashley Monroe.
In 2011, Skaggs with other Bluegrass musicians featured with Irish band, The Brock McGuire Band on their album 'Green Grass Blue Grass'. An exploration of the connection between Folk music of Ireland|Irish Traditional Music and American Bluegrass music|Bluegrass and Appalachian music.
Skaggs has been married to Sharon White of The Whites since August 1981. They have a daughter, Molly, and a son, Lucas.
1983 Best Country Instrumental Performance: New South ( J.D. Crowe, Jerry Douglas, Todd Phillips (musician)|Todd Phillips, Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs) for Fireball
1984 Best Country Instrumental Performance: Ricky Skaggs for Wheel Hoss
1986 Best Country Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist): Ricky Skaggs for ''Raisin' The Dickins
1991 Best Country Vocal Collaboration: Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner & Vince Gill for Restless (Carl Perkins song)|Restless
1999 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Bluegrass Rules!
1998 Best Country Collaboration with Vocals: Clint Black, Joe Diffie, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt & Dwight Yoakam for Same Old Train
2000 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Ancient Tones
2000 Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Soldier Of The Cross
2003 Best Country Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocal: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for A Simple Life
2004 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Brand New Strings
2006 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Instrumentals
2006 Best Musical Album For Children, "Songs From The Neighborhood, The Music Of Mr. Rogers"
2008 Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album: Ricky Skaggs and The Whites for Salt of the Earth (Ricky Skaggs & The Whites album)|Salt Of The Earth
2009 Best Bluegrass Album Honoring The Fathers Of Bluegrass 1946 & 47
CMA (Country Music Association) Awards
1982 Male Vocalist of the Year: Ricky Skaggs
1982 Horizon Award: Ricky Skaggs
1983 Instrumental Group of the Year: Ricky Skaggs Band
1984 Instrumental Group of the Year: Ricky Skaggs Band
1985 Entertainer of the Year: Ricky Skaggs
1985 Instrumental Group of the Year: Ricky Skaggs Band
1987 Vocal Duo of the Year: Ricky Skaggs & The Whites|Sharon White
IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Awards
1998 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
1998 Album Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder for Bluegrass Rules!
1999 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
2000 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
2000 Instrumental Album Of The Year: David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury, Sam Bush, Frank Wakefield, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Ricky Skaggs & Buck White for Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza
2000 Recorded Event Of The Year: David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury, Frank Wakefield, Sam Bush, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Ricky Skaggs & Buck White for Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza
2002 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
2003 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
2004 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
2005 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
2006 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
2008 Recorded Event of the Year: Everett Lilly & Everybody and Their Brother; Featuring Everett Lilly, Bea Lilly, Charles Lilly, Daniel Lilly, Mark Lilly, Marty Stuart, Rhonda Vincent, Billy Walker, Ronnie McCoury, Rob McCoury, David Ball, Charlie Cushman, Larry Stephenson, Joe Spivey, Eddie Stubbs, Jason Carter, Dickey Lee, Freddy Weller, Mike Bub, Rad Lewis, Andy May, Darrin Vincent, Marcia Campbell, Clay Rigdon, Eric Blankenship and Bill Wolfenbarger (artists); Charles Lilly & Bill Wolfenbarger (producers); Swift River Music
BluegrassJournal.com Readers Poll: We Are Family; Jeff & Sheri Easter, The Lewis Family & The Easter Brothers (artists); Jeff & Sheri Easter (producers); Daywind Records
Music City News Country Awards
1982 Bluegrass Act Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs
Other Awards and Accomplishments
R&R Best New Artist
Billboard magazine 's Artist of the Year
Musician Magazine- Voted One of the Top 100 Guitarists of the Century
Artist of the Decade- Listeners' Poll Award BBC Radio 2
'' Country Music Television|CMT 's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music rank No. 37 in 2003.
Judge for the 2nd annual The Independent Music Awards|Independent Music Awards