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Ricky Van Shelton

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Bio

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. Van 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. Van 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 Van Shelton a deal with CBS in 1986. Van 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." Van 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. While readying his third proper album, Van Shelton also completed two specialty projects: the 1989 holiday album Ricky Van Shelton Sings Christmas and the 1990 gospel record Don't Overlook Salvation. Meanwhile, his official follow-up to Loving Proof, RVS III, was released in 1990 and became his third number one album. "I've Cried My Last Tear for You" gave him another number one single, while "I Meant Every Word He Said" and "Statue of a Fool" both topped out at number two; "Life's Little Ups and Downs" also made the Top Five. In 1991, Van Shelton teamed up with Dolly Parton for the chart-topping duet "Rockin' Years" and subsequently issued another album, Backroads. Though it just missed the top of the country charts, Backroads kept his hit streak going strong, producing two more number ones in "Keep It Between the Lines" and "I Am a Simple Man" (giving him a total of nine) and a number two hit in the title track. Musical tastes can shift quickly, and by the time Van Shelton conquered the alcohol abuse that had begun to take a toll on his personal life, Garth Brooks was completely altering the contemporary country landscape. To hold fans over, he released Greatest Hits Plus in 1992, and its newly recorded track, "Wild Man," hit the Top Five. He returned in 1993 with A Bridge I Didn't Burn, but the album didn't spawn any huge hits, as had been expected; it went gold, but it was the only Van Shelton album to date that ultimately failed to go platinum. 1994's Love and Honor continued his commercial downturn, and tensions with Columbia led Van Shelton to part ways with his label a couple years later. He busied himself with, among other projects, a series of children's books centered around the character Quacker the Duck that he'd begun several years earlier. He also formed his own label, RVS, and recorded an album on his own called Making Plans, which he distributed via an exclusive agreement with the Wal-Mart store chain in 1997. The following year, Vanguard stepped in to give the record a wider release. Van Shelton subsequently signed with the Audium label, home to many veteran country artists, and recorded a new album, Fried Green Tomatoes, in 2000. ~ Steve Huey
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Albums by
Ricky Van Shelton

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    10 songs

    On Air

    Blue Christmas

    10 songs

    On Air

    Backroads

    11 songs

    On Air

    Bridge I Didn't Burn

    10 songs

    On Air

    Wild-Eyed Dream

    11 songs

    On Air

    Don't Overlook Salvation

    11 songs

    On Air

    RVS III

    11 songs

    On Air

    Ricky Van Shelton Sings Christmas

    10 songs

    On Air

    Loving Proof

    16 songs

    On Air

    16 Biggest Hits

    10 songs

    On Air

    Super Hits, Vol. 2

    10 songs

    On Air

    Super Hits

    14 songs

    On Air

    Greatest Hits Plus

    21 songs

    On Air

    RVS III / Backroads

    12 songs

    On Air

    Fried Green Tomatoes

    12 songs

    On Air

    Making Plans

    11 songs

    On Air

    Love and Honor

    8 songs

    On Air

    To Be Continued...

    31 songs

    On Air

    Wild-Eyed Dream/Loving Proof/RVS III

    1 song

    On Air

    Wild-Eyed Dream


Top Songs by
Ricky Van Shelton

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Keep It Between the Lines
  3.   Backroads
  4.   From a Jack to a King
  5.   I'll Leave This World Loving You
  6.   Crime of Passion
  7.   Statue of a Fool
  8.   I Am a Simple Man
  9.   Life Turned Her That Way
  10.   Somebody Lied
  11.   Wild Man
  12.   I've Cried My Last Tear for You
  13.   Hole in My Pocket
  14.   Living Proof
  15.   Don't We All Have the Right
  16.   Please Come Home for Christmas
  17.   Oh, Pretty Woman
  18.   I Meant Every Word He Said
  19.   If It Weren't For Me
  20.   He's Got You
  21.   Just as I Am
  22.   Been There, Done That
  23.   I Thought I'd Heard It All
  24.   To My Mansion in the Sky
  25.   The Picture
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Ricky Van Shelton

    On Air

    Classic Country

    On Air

    Alan Jackson: DNA

    On Air

    Tim McGraw: DNA

    On Air

    Southern Gospel

    On Air

    Garth Brooks: DNA

    On Air

    Country Christmas


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