Ricky Van Shelton is an American country singer who was one of the genre's most popular musicians during the late 80s and early 90s. While his songs were mainly classified as country-pop ballads, he also incorporated different styles, such as honky tonk, gospel and rock. Van Shelton was born in Danville, Virginia, and grew up in a small town called Grit. He learned how to sing by performing with the church choir.
After graduating from high school, Van Shelton took on several day jobs before moving to Nashville in late 1984. He performed in several nightclubs before a local writer heard his songs and helped him close a deal with CBS. In 1987, Van Shelton released his first album, "Wild-Eyed Dream." His debut single, "Crime of Passion," reached the country chart's top 10 songs. His follow-up single, "Somebody Lied," and another single, "Life Turned Her That Way," rose to the top of the country charts.
Van Shelton's sophomore album, "Loving Proof," reached the number one spot and produced three top hits, including "From a Jack to a King," "Living Proof" and "I'll Leave This World Loving You." Before releasing his third album, Van Shelton released a gospel record called "Don't Overlook Salvation" and a holiday album titled "Ricky Van Shelton Sings Christmas."