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GILL, VINCE (1957- )

Country music singer Vince Gill was born on April 12, 1957, in Norman, Oklahoma, to Stan and Jerene Gill. By the age of sixteen Gill was a member of the bluegrass group Mountain Smoke. After graduating from Oklahoma City's Northwest Classen High School, he set off to pursue his professional music career. He joined such bands as the Bluegrass Alliance and Byron Berline's Sundance. From 1979 to 1981 Gill played guitar, banjo, and fiddle and sang vocals for the group Pure Prairie League, contributing to three albums. Since starting his solo career, Gill has received an unprecedented seventeen Country Music Association Awards, including Entertainer of the Year two years in a row and Male Vocalist of the Year five years in a row. Gill's "I Still Believe In You" went triple platinum and "When Love Finds You," "Pocket Full of Gold," and "When I Call Your Name" went double platinum.

Beneficiaries of Gill's humanitarian efforts are numerous. He hosted a benefit that raised more than a half-million dollars for the Red Cross and The Relief Fund following the Oklahoma City Bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. He hosts the annual Vince Gill Celebrity Golf Tournament. Gill has received many awards, including the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and The Nashville Network Music City News Minnie Pearl Award for his philanthropy. Gill has one daughter, Jenny, and married fellow entertainer Amy Grant on March 10, 2000.

SEE ALSO: TROYAL GARTH BROOKS, COUNTRY MUSIC, REBA McENTIRE, WESTERN SWING.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: "6 Join State Hall of Fame," Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), 22 November 1997. "Vince Gill," Vertical File, Archives, Oklahoma Heritage Association, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. "Vince Gill," Oklahoma Heritage News (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) 26 (June 1997).

Gini Moore Campbell

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