When I Call Your Name
Country music singer and songwriter Vince Gill started out as a bluegrass singer and multi-instrumentalist before finding huge success as a contemporary country hitmaker, thanks to such singles as "When I Call Your Name" (1989), "I Still Believe in You" (1992), "The Heart Won't Lie" (1993; with Reba McEntire), "If You Ever Have Forever in Mind" (1998) and "Feels Like Love" (2000). Recently in 2006, he released a four-disc set of new material called These Days.
One of the most popular country stars of the '90s, Gill has won more CMA Awards than any performer in history and his 14 Grammys ties him with Chet Atkins for the most ever by a country artist. In 1997, he was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
On a more personal note, the 6' 3" tall singer is a father of two. He was married to Janis Oliver Gill (one of the "Sweethearts Of The Rodeo") and is now happily married to Christian/pop singer Amy Grant.
The Heart Won't Lie
Childhood and Family:
In Norman, Oklahoma, Vincent Grant Gill was born on April 12, 1957, to parents Jerene Gill, a homemaker, and J. Stanley "Stan" Gill (deceased 1997), a federal administrative law judge who played banjo and guitar. Vince has a sister named Gina and a brother named Bob, who deceased in 1993. Vince graduated from the Oklahoma City's Northwest Classen High School in 1975.
On April 12, 1980, Vince married Janis Oliver Gill (one of the "Sweethearts Of The Rodeo") and has one daughter together, Jennifer (Jenny) Jerene Gill (born May 5, 1982). After nearly 18 years of marriage, the couple divorced on June 30, 1998. Vince then married Christian/pop singer Amy Grant (born November 25, 1960) on March 10, 2000 and has a daughter, Corrina Grant Gill (born March 12, 2001). Vince is also the father of Amyís three children from her previous marriage with singer/songwriter and former TV talk show host Gary Chapman: Matt Chapman, Millie Chapman and Sara Chapman.
By his teen years, Vince Gill has picked up banjo and guitar and soon added fiddle, dobro, mandolin and bass to his repertoire. An avid golfer, he had to decide if he wanted to pursue a career as a golfer or a musician, and he chose the latter. He began his music career in his high school, by playing in the bluegrass band Mountain Smoke and once opened a concert for Pure Prairie League with them.
Following his graduation in 1975, Gill moved to Louisville and joined the band Bluegrass Alliance for a year. Afterward, he briefly performed with Ricky Skaggs' Boone Creek outfit before relocating to Los Angeles, where he joined fiddler Byron Berline's group Sundance. In 1979, he became lead singer for the country-rock band Pure Prairie League and recorded three albums with them. In the summer of 1980, Gill and the band had a top 10 pop hit with "Let Me Love You Tonight."
Gill left the band in 1981 to join Rodney Crowell's backing band, the Cherry Bombs, where he met Emory Gordy, Jr. and Tony Brown, both of whom would later produce his solo records. The next year, Gill was featured on the David Grisman album Here Today, adding his appearances on two subsequent albums with then-wife Janis Gill. In 1983, Gill secured a solo contract with RCA and subsequently moved to Nashville with his then-wife and their young daughter.
1984 saw the release of Gillís debut mini-album, Turn Me Loose. He made his first country single chart with the minor Top 40 entry "Victim of Life's Circumstance." He followed it up with the next yearís The Things That Matter. The singles "If It Weren't for Him" (with Rosanne Cash) and "Oklahoma Borderline" became Gillís first Top Ten hit. In 1987, Gill made his biggest RCA hit with the album The Way Back Home, which spawned the Top Five "Cinderella." Meanwhile, Gill also worked as a session guitarist, wrote songs for other artists and toured with Emmylou Harris.
Gill switched to MCA Records in 1989 and recorded his breakthrough hit, the title track "When I Call Your Name," which climbed to #2 and won Gill his first Grammy. The next single "Never Knew Lonely" hit #3 as the album went on to sell over a million copies. A fan of Gill, Dire Straitsí guitarist and vocalist Mark Knopfler asked Gill to join the British rock band full time. Although Gill turned down the invitation, he did sing backup on the song "The Bug" from the bandís final original album, On Every Street (1991).
Pocket Full of Gold, Gillís 1991 album, was another platinum smash. It delivered four Top Ten singles, "Liza Jane," the title track, "Look at Us" and the #2 smash "Take Your Memory with You." The next year, Gill was an outright superstar, thanks to the release of I Still Believe in You. The title ballad was a huge hit, and its follow-up, "Don't Let Our Love Start Slippin' Away," was also a chart topper. A few months after its release, the album went Platinum while continued to produce two more #1 hits: "One More Last Chance" and "Tryin' to Get Over You," as well as the #3 hit "No Future in the Past." I Still Believe in You would sell over four million copies over the next few years.
Meanwhile, his duet with Reba McEntire, "The Heart Won't Lie," from her It's Your Call album also peaked at #1 in 1993. Later that year, Gill released a holiday album, Let There Be Peace on Earth. In 1994, he released When Love Finds You, which broke the pop Top Ten. It sold over four million copies while spun off five Top Five country hits "What the Cowgirls Do," the title track, "Whenever You Come Around," "Which Bridge to Cross (Which Bridge to Burn)" and "You Better Think Twice." And after releasing High Lonesome Sound (1996), Gill embarked on a tour which garnered him some positive critical response. He later delivered another Top Five hits, "Worlds Apart," "Pretty Little Adriana" and "A Little More Love."
The Key (1998) was Gillís most universally acclaimed album. It marked his return to hardcore country as well as a chronicle of the breakup of his marriage to Janis. The album, which spawned the Top Five hit "If You Ever Have Forever in Mind," went platinum and became Gillís first album to top the country charts.
After marrying Christian/pop singer Amy Grant in 2000, Gill released the sentimental album Let's Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye, which spun off the Top Ten hit in "Feels Like Love." The album also received four nominations at the Grammy Awards. Three years later, Gill returned with Next Big Thing, which marked the first time he produced an entire album on his own.
From 1992 to 2003, Gill hosted the CMA Awards every year. He was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1997. Recently in 2006, he released an ambitious four-disc set of new material, These Days.
ďI am as passionate today as I have ever been about playing music. I believe Iím better now than Iíve ever been, and my wish is for everybody to come along on this journey and really get the opportunity to see what Iím doing. The crux of it, for me, is that the desire and dream have not waned one bit. I am still moved by music, and wish others to be as well.Ē Vince Gill (on his 2006ís These Days).