An active country music performer between 1986 and 2006, Ricky Van Shelton charted more than twenty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. His ten Number One were, "Somebody Lied," "Life Turned Her That Way," 'Don't We All Have the Right," "I'll Leave This World Loving You," "From a Jack to a King," "Living Proof," "I've Cried My Last Tear for You," "Rockin' Years" (a duet with Dolly Parton), "I Am a Simple Man," and "Keep It Between the Lines."
Ricky also had seven more of his singles in the Top Ten on the same chart. He has also released nine studio albums, of which his first four have all been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
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Born in Danville, Virginia and raised in Grit, Virginia, Shelton's father sang Gospel music while Ricky was still a child. while Ricky also sang gospel, he was also drawn to Pop music and later, in high school, to Country music. He soon started singing Country songs with his brother's band.
After graduating high school, Shelton started performing in area clubs and also worked a series of jobs. In 1984, his girlfriend and later wife, Bettye Witt, found a job in Nashville, Tennessee and Shelton moved there with her.
In Nashville, Shelton tried to find a recording contract, and worked in area nightclubs. In 1986, Jerry Thompson, a newspaper columnist, heard one of Shelton's demos, and arranged an audition with Columbia Records. Soon thereafter, Shelton was offered a recording contract with CBS, with Jerry Thompson serving as his manager. In that same year, he recorded his first album, Wild-Eyed Dream. The title track was released as a single, and reached #24 on the Country charts.
The next song from the album, "Crime of Passion" gained him an even bigger hit on the Country charts, when it reached the Top 10 early that year. The follow-up ,"Somebody Lied," became his first No. 1 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
Nine other songs would make it to No. 1 on the Country charts during his career. He had a pair of other No. 1 singles from his album, "Life Turned Her That Way" and "Don't We All Have the Right." His album reached the No. 1 spot on the Top Country Albums chart in 1987, was one of the biggest-selling Country albums of the year, and it made Shelton one of the most successful male vocalists of that year.
He achieved equal success the next year with a new album and a new single. The album was entitled Loving Proof, and it too was a No. 1 Billboard Country album. The album spawned His third album, RVS III, also kept Shelton him high on the charts, though only one No. 1 single came from it.
By now, Shelton was one of Country music's most successful male vocalists. Around the same time, Shelton wrote a series of Children's books. The first two titles of his books were, Tales From a Duck Named Quacker and Quacker Meets Mrs. Moo.
By 1992, Shelton's success on the Country charts was slowing. He enjoyed one last Top 10 hit entitled "Wild Man," which was put on his newest album, called Greatest Hits Plus, which had all his biggest hits since he first entered Country music.
In 1997, Shelton formed his own label entitled, RVS. That same year, he released his first album in three years entitled Making Plans. Shelton financed the project himself however, and worked out to release his album only to Wal-Mart stores.
In May 2006, Ricky announced that he would be retiring from touring to spend more time with his family.
For more about Ricky, visit his Website at -