Vince Gill

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Vince Gill
Musician Vince Gill playing an acoustic guitar
Gill performing live with the Eagles in February 2019
Background information
Birth nameVincent Grant Gill
Born (1957-04-12) April 12, 1957 (age 67)
Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.
OriginNashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, musician
Years active1975–present
Member ofEagles
Formerly of
(m. 1980; div. 1997)
(m. 2000)
WebsiteVince Gill

Vincent Grant Gill (born April 12, 1957) is an American country music singer, songwriter and musician. He has achieved commercial success and fame both as frontman of 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.

He 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. As of 2022, Gill has also earned 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other male country music artist. In 2007 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2016, Gill was inducted into the Guitar Center Rock Walk by Joe Walsh of the Eagles.[1] In 2017, he and Deacon Frey were hired by the Eagles in place of the late Glenn Frey.

Early life[edit]

Gill was born in Norman, Oklahoma.[2] He had an elder maternal half-brother, Bob Coen.[3]

His father, J. Stanley Gill, was a lawyer and administrative law judge[4] 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.[5]

Gill attended high school at Oklahoma City's Northwest Classen High School. While there he played on the golf team and 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.[citation needed]


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).

Gill (right) with Albert Lee (left) and Australian tour promoters Ann and Andrew Pattison in Australia, 1988

Gill left Pure Prairie League in 1981 to join Cherry Bombs, the stage band that backed Rodney Crowell. There he worked with Tony Brown and Emory Gordy Jr., both of whom would later produce many of his albums.[5] He recorded a bluegrass album, Here Today, with David Grisman and friends before signing a solo deal with RCA with whom he achieved some success including the singles, "Victim of Life's Circumstance" (U.S. Country Top 40) and Country Top Ten with "If It Weren't for Him", "Oklahoma Borderline" and "Cinderella". However his albums achieved only moderate sales and in 1989, Gill left RCA to sign with MCA Records. Here, reunited with Tony Brown as producer, he sold over a million copies of his label debut, 1989's When I Call Your Name, of which several songs, including the title track, made the U.S. Country charts' Top Ten / Top Twenty.[6] This was followed by the similarly successful albums, Pocket Full of Gold (1991) and I Still Believe in You, of which the title track went to U.S. Country No. 1.

Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s Gill continued to release highly successful albums, capitalizing on the virtuoso quality of his electric and acoustic guitar playing, his pure, high and soulful tenor voice, and the excellent quality of his songwriting. According to his biography on AllMusic, Gill has won more CMA Awards than any performer in history,[citation needed] and as of 2018 has also won 21 Grammy Awards, which represents the most ever by a country artist.[citation needed]

Gill playing at the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival

Gill has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since August 10, 1991.[7] He celebrated his 25th Opry anniversary with a tribute show on August 13, 2016.[8]

In 1997, he received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.[9][10][11]

In 2010, Gill officially joined the country swing group The Time Jumpers.[12]

In July 2011, Gill appeared as a guest on NPR's news quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me.[13] 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).[14] In May 2011, Carrie Underwood was one of the seven women to be honored by the Academy of Country Music at the Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country special. At the ceremony, Gill introduced Underwood and presented her with the special award. He sang one of her hits, "Jesus, Take The Wheel", and joined Underwood on a rendition performance of "How Great Thou Art". The video of the performance went viral within two days.[15]

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

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."[16]

In March 2012, he performed at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for its opening night. He was recruited for the show at the 11th hour when singer LeAnn Rimes canceled the day before the opening. Gill drove up from Nashville that night with only his guitar and played to repeated standing ovations from a standing-room only house.

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".[citation needed]

In June 2012, he was touring and performing only bluegrass songs.[17]

Gill received the 2,478th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 6, 2012.[18]

Gill was featured in a song by Kelly Clarkson titled "Don't Rush", which appears on Clarkson's Greatest Hits – Chapter One.[citation needed]

In 2014, Gill received the Country Music Awards Irving Waugh Award of Excellence. Gill was only the sixth recipient since the inception of the award in 1983.[dubious ].[19]

In 2016, Gill was selected as one of 30 artists to perform on Forever Country, which celebrates 50 years of the CMA Awards.[20]

In his career Gill has sold more than 26 million albums and accumulated more than 50 Top 40 hits.[21]

Gill joined the Eagles, alongside Deacon Frey, following the death of Glenn Frey. Gill serves as co-lead guitarist, in addition to providing rhythm guitars, singing background, and frequently handling lead vocals in place of Glenn Frey. He initially started touring with the band in 2017, and continues to serve as a member of the band.[22][23]

Personal life[edit]

In 1968, Gill's older half-brother, Bob Coen, was involved in a severe car crash. Bob was 22 years old at the time, while Gill was 11. The accident left Bob in a coma for three months with irreversible brain damage. He subsequently struggled in life and would lose contact with his family and friends. He died in 1993.[3] 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 Bob.[citation needed]

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 Jennifer was born in 1982.[24] 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 took off. Occasionally Gill would mix sound for his wife's band. The two divorced in 1997.[25]

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

Gill met Christian music artist Amy Grant in 1993 when he asked her to perform in his first televised Christmas special. 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.[25]

Gill has played golf since early childhood. A scratch golfer, he has organized and participated in many charity events centered around golf and was inducted into the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame in 2005.[26] 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.[27] Gill was honored with the 2022 Old Tom Morris Award by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, for his lifetime commitment to the game of golf and help molding the welfare of the game. [28]

Gill is a member of the board of directors of the Nashville Predators Foundation charity organization, affiliated with the Nashville Predators National Hockey League team.[29]

Gill currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He also has a home studio there.[30]


Studio albums[edit]

Selected awards and honors[edit]

Gill and his wife Amy Grant receiving the Class of 1966 Friend of West Point award in 2008

Academy of Country Music[edit]

Country Music Association[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Gill has won 22 awards from 44 nominations.[32]

Hall of fame inductions[edit]

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. ^ Kingsbury, Paul (1998). The Encyclopedia of Country Music. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 200. ISBN 0195116712.
  3. ^ a b Sharp, John (May 2, 2013). "Vince Gill Talks About Helping the Mobile Rescue Mission". Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  4. ^ "The 85th PGA Championship/News/Vince Gill: A man whose life is in tune (8/13/03)". Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Vince Gill Official Site". Archived from the original on December 26, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  6. ^ "Vince Gill – Biography & History – AllMusic". AllMusic.
  7. ^ "Vince Gill". Grand Ole Opry. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  8. ^ "Vince Gill's Silver Opry Anniversary Celebrated With Epic Show". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  10. ^ "Vince Gill Biography Photo". 1997. Vince Gill and Amy Grant perform for the American Academy of Achievement members and student delegates at an evening outing and symposium at Fort McHenry during the 1997 "Salute to Excellence" program in Baltimore.
  11. ^ "2009 Summit Highlights Photo". 2009. Academy members Vince Gill and Amy Grant share the gift of music with the children of Ntshuxekani Preschool.
  12. ^ Chancellor, Jennifer. "Gill joins Time Jumpers for debut album". Tulsa World. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  13. ^ "Show Info: 2011-07-02 | Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Stats and Show Details". July 2, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "Moody Bluegrass Two…Much Love". June 7, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  15. ^ Carrie Underwood's 'How Great Thou Art' Moves The Masses – Our Country Archived May 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. (April 25, 2011). Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  16. ^ Profile, theBoot website; retrieved August 15, 2013.
  17. ^ Palisin, Steve (June 7, 2012). "Vince Gill concert will be 'all bluegrass'". The Sun News. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  18. ^ "Vince Gill Getting Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame". August 23, 2012. Archived from the original on May 31, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  19. ^ "Industry Honors – CMA World – CMA Country Music Association". CMA World. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  20. ^ "30 Country Music Stars Join Forces for Historic CMA Music Video". ABC News. September 16, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Lewis, Randy (June 1, 2017). "The Eagles call on family — and Vince Gill — to carry on without Glenn Frey for Classic West-East shows". Eagles. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  23. ^ "2018 North American Tour". Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  24. ^ "Vince Gill Biography and Interview". American Academy of Achievement.
  25. ^ a b Graham Kizer, Jennifer (January 4, 2010). "For Amy Grant and Vince Gill, the Second Time's the Charm". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  26. ^ "Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame". Tennessee Golf Foundation. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  27. ^ Denney, Bob (2003). "A man whose life is in tune". Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  28. ^ Strauss, Mike (December 14, 2021). "Country music hall of famer Vince Gill to receive GCSAA's Old Tom Morris Award".
  29. ^ "Predators Foundation". Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  30. ^ "Vince Gill On Fatherhood and His Happy Marriage". Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  31. ^ "CMA Award Winners 1967–2011". Country Music Association. Archived from the original on January 4, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  32. ^ "Vince Gill". May 14, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017.

External links[edit]