Vincent Grant "Vince" Gill (born April 12, 1957) is an American neotraditional country singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He has achieved commercial success and fame both as frontman to 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. Gill has recorded more than twenty studio albums, charted over forty singles on the U.S. Billboard charts as Hot Country Songs, and has sold more than 22 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. Gill has also earned 20 Grammy Awards, more than any other male Country music artist. In 2007, Gill was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Gill was born in Norman, Oklahoma. His father, J. Stanley Gill, was a lawyer and administrative law judge who played in a country music band part time and encouraged Gill to pursue a musical career. His homemaker mother, Jerene, played the harmonica. At the encouragement of his father, Gill learned to play several instruments, including the banjo and guitar, before he started high school at Oklahoma City's Northwest Classen High School. He first played with a teenage band called Bluegrass Revue in the late 1970s. The other members were: Billy Perry on the banjo, Bobby Clark on the mandolin & Mike Perry on the bass. (Bobby Clark plays with a group called Williams and Clark now.) While in high school, he performed with "Mountain Smoke," a bluegrass band that once opened for Pure Prairie League. After he graduated, he played in a number of bluegrass bands, including Ricky Skaggs' "Boone Creek"; later, he became a member of Rodney Crowell's road band, The Cherry Bombs.
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. Gill is the lead singer on their hit song "Let Me Love You Tonight" (1980), which he was still performing in concert years later - thus, he said, confusing many fans who knew him only from his subsequent solo work. Gill appeared on two subsequent albums along with then-wife Janis Gill before signing as a solo with RCA Records in 1983. He first charted while on that label. In 1989, he switched to MCA Records where he recorded his breakthrough hit "When I Call Your Name."
Gill hosted the CMA Awards every year from 1992?2003. In 2004 he received a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. In 1997, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Dire Straits leader Mark Knopfler, a fan of Gill's music, had asked Gill to join the band full time. Gill turned down the invitation, but did sing backup on one song ("The Bug") from Dire Straits' album On Every Street. Gill has also sung duets with numerous artists, including Steven Curtis Chapman ("Christmas is All in the Heart"), Dolly Parton ("I Will Always Love You"), Alison Krauss and Union Station ("That's All"), Reba McEntire ("Oklahoma Swing," "The Heart Won't Lie," "It Just Has to Be That Way,""These Broken Hearts"), Amy Grant ("House of Love"), Barbra Streisand ("If You Ever Leave Me"), and Richard Marx ("And I Love Her"). More recently, Vince and Sheryl Crow sang harmony vocals on the Brooks & Dunn 2006 hit "Building Bridges". In 2006, Gill released "These Days," a 4-CD set of 43 new recordings featuring a range of musical styles: traditional country, ballads, contemporary, and acoustic/bluegrass. Guest performers included Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Diana Krall, Trisha Yearwood, Michael McDonald, Bonnie Raitt, Leann Rimes, Gretchen Wilson, Amy Grant, and Lee Ann Womack, among others.
In 2007, Gill along with Mel Tillis and Ralph Emery were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
In 2008, Gill won his 19th Grammy for Best Country Album, capping off his acceptance speech with: "Music is the only place in the world where true democracy lives - every note counts."
On October 25, 2008, Gill will be one of the only country artists ever to perform in Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
It has been rumored, based on a webisode by the Christian Pop Punk band Relient K, that Vince will be making a guest appearance on their new untitled album which is due for release sometime in 2009.
Gill married country singer Janis Oliver of Sweethearts of the Rodeo fame, in 1980. The couple have one daughter, Jennifer Jerene Gill, born , 1982. Vince and Janis separated in the mid-1990s and eventually divorced in June 1998. Vince married Christian/pop singer Amy Grant in March 2000. They have one daughter, Corrina Grant Gill, born , 2001.
Gill, along with his wife Amy, are fans of the Nashville Predators. They have been season ticket holders since the opening season and are often shown on the jumbo screen. In the 2007 playoffs, he and Amy sang the national anthem for each game.
Though Gill never attended college, he's a big fan of the University of Oklahoma football team.