A life full of music. That’s the story of Ricky Skaggs. By age twenty-one, he was already considered a “recognized master” of one of America’s most demanding art forms, but his career took him in other directions, catapulting him to popularity and success in the mainstream of country music. His life’s path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music, to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact.
As a musician, Skaggs is a brilliant traditionalist but is also willing to mix genres, recording and touring with many different artists such as Bruce Hornsby and Ry Cooder. With dates in 2015, Ry Cooder, Sharon White and Ricky Skaggs embarked upon the critically acclaimed 'Cooder-White-Skaggs - Songs for the Good People' tour that featured the trio singing gospel, blues and country along with superior musicianship. Backing the trio was Mark Fain on bass, Ry's son Joachim Cooder on drums, with Sharon's father Buck White on piano and sister Cheryl White's harmony vocals. Stops crossing the country included Berklee Performance Center in Boston and Carnegie Hall in New York, with tour dates continuing into 2016. Most recently, Skaggs has added Country tour dates as he plugs in and plays full shows of his chart-topping hits.
Skaggs demonstrates wizardry in the studio, producing not only his records but sets from acts such as The Whites and Dolly Parton, as well as the Love Remains disc from Hillary Scott & The Scott Family, which won him his 15th Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album as a producer.
2018 was a stellar year for Skaggs, with the addition of three more Hall of Fame inductions: the National Fiddler Hall of Fame, IBMA’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and country music’s greatest honor, the Country Music Hall of Fame. Along with his three previous inductions into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, the Gospel Music Association’s Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame, all six awards display his ability to masterfully cross genres with versatility in styles and instruments.
In 2020, Ricky was awarded the prestigious National Medal of Arts for his contributions to the American music industry. It is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. As a virtuoso of the mandolin and fiddle, Ricky Skaggs creates and produces bluegrass music that preserves the musical legacy of the most talented artists of his generation.
Ricky Skaggs has often said that he is “just trying to make a living” playing the music he loves. But it’s clear that his passion for it puts him in the position to bring his lively, distinctively American form of music out of isolation and into the ears and hearts of audiences across the country and around the world. Ricky Skaggs is always forging ahead with cross-cultural, genre-bending musical ideas and inspirations.