Oklahoma native Vince Gill will receive his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Sept. 6, his publicist confirmed today. (Variety posted the date of the ceremony Thursday on Twitter @Variety.)
As previously reported, Gill’s wife, singer-songwriter Amy Grant, already has a star on the Walk of Fame, and Gill has asked for his star to be placed next to hers.
The Country Music Hall of Famer was born in Norman and grew up in Oklahoma City, where he started making music at a young age. Although he eventually settled in Nashville, Tenn., where he has made his home for many years, Gill actually launched his music career in another Music City: Los Angeles.
Gill moved to Southern California at age 19 and played in a bluegrass band called Sundance, fronted by Guthrie fiddle legend Byron Berline, who was living in the San Fernando Valley at the time.
“I was so young, 19 years old and going to California was pretty heady,” Gill told The Oklahoman columnist Bryan Painter in a recent interview. “It was so massive.”
Living in California provided Gill an opportunity to meet so many music greats. The first gig he played with Sundance was at the famed Troubadour club in West Hollywood. Berline introduced him to Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. Gill’s jaw dropped, he told Bryan.
“It was just the greatest thing that ever happened to me to get to move out there to be exposed to the musicianship of so many different kinds of music, great jazz players, great rock players, everything,” Gill told Bryan. “It was so happening in the mid-’70s in Southern California.”
Gill remained with Sundance until joining Pure Prairie League in 1979. He was the lead singer on Pure Prairie League’s pop hit “Let Me Love You Tonight.”
He departed Pure Prairie League in 1981 to join Rodney Crowell’s backing band, the Cherry Bombs. Within a couple of years, Gill had secured a solo deal.
Gill hosted the Country Music Association Awards every year from 1992–2003. He was CMA’s Entertainer of the Year in 1993 and 1994 and Male Vocalist of the Year from 1991-95. He has won 20 Grammys for his singing, songwriting, producing and instrumental talents.
In October, he will reunite with Berline, who every year organizes the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival in Guthrie. Gill was at the first Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival in 1997, returned in 2002 and will headline this year’s event. The festival will be Oct. 4-6 in Guthrie. For more information, go to www.oibf.com.
“Vince has never changed,” Berline told Bryan. “I think that’s part of his upbringing his mom and dad instilled in him.
“And, he’s from Oklahoma. People from Oklahoma appreciate what people have done for them. He doesn’t forget that.”