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Ricky Van Shelton


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Ricky Van Shelton was one of country music’s biggest male stars during the late ’80s and early ’90s, prior to the emergence of crossover sensations like Garth Brooks. Shelton’s smooth baritone croon made him especially popular as a country-pop ballad stylist, but elsewhere he incorporated elements of rock, gospel, and classic honky tonk. Shelton was born in Danville, VA, in 1952 and grew up in the small town of Grit. He learned to sing at church and discovered country music as a teenager, performing at local gatherings whenever he could. After high school, he played the area club circuit and worked a series of day jobs, and in late 1984 he finally made the move to Nashville to make it in the business. He performed in nightclubs until a local newspaper columnist heard his demo and helped arrange a showcase that landed Shelton a deal with CBS in 1986.

Shelton released his debut album, Wild-Eyed Dream, in 1987, and his first-ever single, “Crime of Passion,” hit the country Top Ten. Its follow-up, “Somebody Lied,” went all the way to number one; so did the album, and so did another single, “Life Turned Her That Way.” Shelton quickly recorded a follow-up album, Loving Proof, which appeared in 1988 and also topped the country charts; it spun off three number one hits in “I’ll Leave This World Loving You,” “From a Jack to a King,” and “Living Proof,” while “Hole in My Pocket” made the Top Five.


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  • catgus

    Great looking guy,great songs....what happened to him?...did he get religion,or something worse?

    18 Mar 4:38pm Reply
  • givemelovenowde

    I like this song.

    26 Feb 7:10am Reply
  • Della-Nash

    Miss your music

    20 Dec 2013 Reply
  • mazelme

    great music,real life

    2 May 2013 Reply
  • deafie_b

    got me thru some really bad times with his music thanks to his wonderful voice and touching lyrics

    1 Sep 2012 Reply
  • pearl1950

    Ricky Van Shelton is one of the best ballad country singers of all time. I've been a fan since 1987. I sure do miss him, but I'm happy he's given his life to God. I hope he records another gospel album. Gwen Weaver

    20 Jul 2010 Reply
  • kolby386

    This man is proof that country music stopped being good when Garth Brooks showed up.

    5 Jul 2010 Reply
  • bev1prkr

    Ricky has one of the best voices i've ever heard. I could listen to him all day. Would love to have him make more recordings and be heard on the radio more than just going back in time.

    13 Jan 2009 Reply
  • paparick61

    Life turned her that way, a great country song given class by a wonderful vocalist

    1 Sep 2008 Reply
  • elsmarie

    great song it ...keep it between the lines

    31 Aug 2008 Reply
  • dluuu

    ricky is the coolest country singer that is!!!!

    30 Apr 2008 Reply

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