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Vince Gill

Vince Gill is the ambassador of country music.

This isn’t his official title, of course, but it’s the role he occupies–whether he’s picking bluegrass with his boyhood heroes backstage at the Grand Ole Opry or trading jazz licks with the house band on The Late Show with David Letterman. Gill’s prodigious talent, legendary compassion and quick wit have made him the face that country music likes to show the world.

Vincent Grant Gill was born April 12, 1957, in Norman, Oklahoma, the son of a federal judge and a homemaker. By the time he was in high school, he had become proficient on the banjo and guitar and was playing in his first bluegrass band. After graduation, he turned professional, working with such acts as the Bluegrass Alliance, Boone Creek, Sundance and, most famously, Pure Prairie League. For a time, Gill also toured with Rodney Crowell’s high-octane backup band, the Cherry Bombs. In 1983, he signed to RCA Records, where he scored his first solo country hits, among them "Oklahoma Borderline" and "Cinderella."

Gill moved to MCA Records in 1989. The following year, he achieved his big breakthrough with "When I Call Your Name," which won the Country Music Association’s Single of the Year award. Since then, he has won 17 more CMA honors, including Entertainer of the Year twice and Song of the Year four times. To date, Gill has earned more CMA trophies than anyone else in history. He has hosted the nationally televised CMA awards show since 1992.

Since 1990, Gill has walked away with 14 Grammy awards, a total that ties him with the late Chet Atkins for the most Grammys won by a country artist. In 1991, he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and remains one of that revered radio show’s most active members. As a recording artist, Gill has racked up sales in excess of 22 million. His high, pure tenor voice and unerring sense of harmony, have made him a favorite duet recording partner for dozens of fellow artists–from Ralph Stanley to Barbra Streisand.

Active in a wide array of charities, Gill’s favorite cause is the annual "The Vinny" pro-celebrity golf tournament, which he established in 1993 to raise money for the Junior Golf program. In 2001, the TNN & CMT Country Weekly awards show honored Gill for his artistry and many good works with its Career Achievement Award.

Gill is married to pop music singer Amy Grant. His current album is Let’s Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye.

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