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Vince Gill Celebrates 20 Years in the Grand Ole Opry

Frederick Breedon, Getty Images

His youthful tenor never seems to age, so it’s hard to believe Vince Gill has been making music for decades. In fact, he released the first of his 12 solo albums, ‘Turn Me Loose,’ way back in 1984.

Since then, Gill has charted more than 40 singles, sold more than 22 million records and won 20 Grammys. At this point, he’s running out of milestones — but there was still one left for him to celebrate on Saturday, when he marked 20 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Gill celebrated the occasion with a group of friends and family that numbered some of Nashville’s brightest stars, including Emmylou Harris, Martina McBride, and Gill’s wife, Amy Grant.

“I spent so many years struggling and never knowing if any of this would ever happen for me,” Gill reflected backstage before the show. “When a couple hits finally turned up in 1990 and allowed me the opportunity to get invited out here, it meant the world to me. If you ever strum a guitar, play three chords and sing a hillbilly song, this is the mecca. This is the place you dream of getting to come and it doesn’t get any better.”

“He’s a great writer, a great singer and a great player and a very hard worker,” added John Anderson. “He’s a very good man. I’m flattered to be here this evening. It’s a pleasure to be here in honor of Brother Vince. I wish him 20 more great years. If anybody’s got ’em coming, he does.”

Gill will kick off those next 20 years with a new album, ‘Guitar Slinger,’ due this fall.

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