He’s been a singer for 36 years. Ricky Skaggs had 12 number one country hits during the 1980’s, to go along with six other top ten hits. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1982. In the ensuing years in the 1980’s he won four Grammy Awards and eight Awards from the Country Music Association, including Entertainer of the Year in 1985. He didn’t stop with country music, however, as Skaggs became known today as “bluegrass music’s official ambassador.” In addition, Ricky Skaggs is a dedicated Christian who will sing to share his faith in whatever venue he believes God has led him to-a church, a Billy Graham crusade, a nightclub, or even a bar.
In the 1970’s Ricky turned from bluegrass to country music. His first number one song was, Waiting for the Sun to Shine. Guitarist and record producer Chet Atkins credits Skaggs and his neo-traditionalist brand of music with “single-handily” saving country music in the 1980’s. Many other music experts also said country music had been in the doldrums in the 1980’s and that Skaggs rescued it.
After he left the record label he was with and formed his own in 1997, Skaggs Family Records, Ricky Skaggs began to concentrate again on bluegrass music. According to the website of the record label, the father of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe, could never have imagined the success Ricky would bring to that kind of music. He has had eight consecutive Grammy-nominated records from his own label, Bluegrass Rules; Ancient Ton; Soldier of the Cross; Big Mon: The Songs of Bill Monroe; History of the Future; Live at Charleston Music City Hall; Brand New Strings; Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder Instrumentals. Six won the Grammy. His Grammy for Soldier of the Cross, his only all gospel recording to date was his eighth overall Grammy.
Besides being a country and bluegrass singer, Ricky Skaggs plays the fiddle, guitar, banjo, and mandolin.
Ricky Skaggs married Sharon White of the group, the Whites, in 1982, and the couple has a daughter, Molly Kate and a son, Lucas. Skaggs also has a son, Andrew, and a daughter, Mandy, from his first marriage.
Ricky Skaggs says he shares his faith not only through his music, but also through his lifestyle. He can share his faith not only through a song or words, but by living out his faith. That can be as simple as letting someone with less groceries at the store be checked out first.
Ricky Skaggs says he may perform at a church one day, a casino the next. He says that a few years ago he told God that “Lord, wherever you want me to go, I’ll go.” He says that can include a bluegrass festival, a church, a bar, a casino. He says he would not advise everybody to share his or her faith in a bar or casino, but if God puts in on a person’s heart to do that, he or she should go with at least one or two other people-not alone. He says he believes in accountability before others so much, that if he is going shopping alone, he will tell at least one person in his group where he will go and what he will be doing.
Ricky Skaggs says he believes in the power of personal prayer. He also knows he has a family that is praying for him at home.
Ricky Skaggs says although he is known for his music, he does not care if anyone mentions that when he dies. He would rather be remembered as a man who loved his children, wife, and his God.