MilsapMADISONVILLE, Ky. (2/11/19) — Country music legend Ronnie Milsap will perform 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 on the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts stage.

The Glema described Milsap as one of country music’s “most popular and influential performers of the 1970s and 80s.”

He is known for his hits including It Was Almost Like a Song, Smoky Mountain Man, No Gettin’ Over Me, I Wouldn’t Have Missed it for the World, Any Day Now and Stranger in My House.

Milsap has won six Grammys, had 40 No. 1 country hits, and was inducted 2014 into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The current tour, “76 for 76” kicked off with a Jan. 16 birthday (his 76th) show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium followed immediately by the release of The Duets, a collection of many of the singer’s best-known tunes featuring a country music who’s who, including fellow Hall of Famers George Strait, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson as well as Kacey Musgraves, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and newcomer Jesse Key. Of special note are collaborations with the late Leon Russell and the final recorded performance by the late Troy Gentry of duo Montgomery Gentry.

Born in North Carolina, Milsap was a wunderkind at musical instrumentation, learning gospel, country and pop music from radio and classical techniques from the State School for the Blind in Raleigh. Early on in his career, he played piano on Elvis Presley records such as “Kentucky Rain,” in which the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll implored him for “more thunder on the piano, Milsap!”

After moving to Nashville, he bought a Music Row studio from Roy Orbison, renovating it and turning it into a hit factory, starting with his 1979 hit “Nobody Likes Sad Songs” through his major hits like “Stranger in My House.” He had the recording console equipped with a Braille label and kept it until 1995. The studio, known as Ronnie’s Place, is still in use today.

From 1976 to 1978, Milsap became one of country music's biggest stars. He scored seven No. 1 singles in a row. Milsap's sound shifted toward string-laden pop ballads during the late 1970s which resulted in crossover success on the pop charts beginning in the early 1980s. From 1980 until 1983, he scored a series of eleven No. 1 singles.

Like other artists of the same era such as Linda Ronstadt, Glen Campbell, Marty Robbins, and Ray Charles, Milsap's albums during the 1980s often featured songs in a variety of musical styles that showcased his remarkable range and versatility as a singer. Milsap, in fact, became the first country music artist to be played in full rotation on legendary rock music channel MTV with his 1984 single "She loves my car".

Between 1985 and 1987, Milsap enjoyed a series of uninterrupted No. 1 country singles, enjoying great success at this time with "She Keeps the Home Fires Burning", "In Love", "Snap Your Fingers", "Where Do the Nights Go", and the grammy-winning duet with Kenny Rogers, "Make No Mistake, She's Mine".
In 1989, Milsap had his last No. 1 song with "A Woman in Love", and in 1992, he had a major success with "All Is Fair in Love and War".

Milsap has remained one of country music's best-loved and most successful artists despite the lack of radio airplay since the mid-1990s. In 2000, Milsap's biography was featured by A&E Networks's Biography television series. Milsap has also been featured by CMT's numerous shows, including 40 Greatest Men of Country Music and a 2005 episode of Crossroads with Tex-Mex rock group Los Lonely Boys. On June 1, 2014, Rolling Stone magazine ranked "Smoky Mountain Rain" #96 in their list of the 100 greatest country songs.

In 2016, Milsap was selected as one of 30 artists to perform on "Forever Country", a mash-up track of "Take Me Home, Country Roads", "On the Road Again" and "I Will Always Love You" which celebrates 50 years of the CMA Awards.

The Glema reports a few tickets are still available to “An Evening with Ronnie Milsap.” They are $40 on the main floor, $35 for rear floor seats and $30 in the balcony. They are available at the Glema Center Ticket Office or online at http://glema.center.universitytickets.com.

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