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Vince Gill

Vince Gill paid nearly a decade-and-a-half of dues en route to becoming one of the most popular country stars of the '90s. Starting out as a bluegrass singer and multi-instrumentalist, he initially made his name with country-rockers Pure Prairie League and spent the '80s as part of country's new traditionalist movement before finding massive success as a contemporary country hitmaker. Gill had strong mainstream appeal, yet enough songwriting chops and grounding in tradition that he could maintain his artistic credibility without being branded a crossover-happy hack. That balance made him the kind of performer who awards ceremonies can feel good about honoring, and honor him they did: Gill has won more CMA Awards than any performer in history, and his 14 Grammys tie him with Chet Atkins for the most ever by a country artist.

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