Rickie Lee “Ricky” Skaggs (born July 18, 1954), is an American country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer. He primarily plays mandolin; however, he also plays fiddle, guitar, mandocaster and banjo.
Skaggs has been married to Sharon White of The Whites since August 1981. They have a daughter, Molly, and a son, Lucas. Skaggs was previously married to Brenda Stanley and has two children, Andrew and Mandy, from that relationship.
- Name: Rickie Lee Skaggs
- Birth Date: July 18, 1954
- Instruments: Vocals, mandolin, guitar, banjo, fiddle
- Pace of Birth: Cordell, Kentucky
- Occupation: Singer-songwriter, session musician, bandleader, producer, arranger
- Years Active: 1960s-present
More About Ricky Skaggs
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 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 Clinch Mountain Boys.
Skaggs later joined The Country Gentlemen in Washington, DC, J. D. Crowe’s New South. In 1976, Skaggs formed progressive bluegrass band Boone Creek, including members Vince Gill and Jerry Douglas. 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.
Skaggs launched his own country career in 1980, achieving 12 #1 hits, 8 CMA awards, and 8 ACM awards. In 1982, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the youngest to ever be inducted at that time. Guitarist and producer Chet Atkins credited Skaggs with “single-handedly” saving country music. In the 1990s and 2000s, Skaggs went back to his bluegrass roots, and also experimented 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.
For more information visit www.rickyskaggs.com/