Country music legend Ronnie Milsap will return to his Western North Carolina roots as he performs at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25 each.
Milsap was born in Robbinsville, N.C. He lost his vision when he was a child and was raised primarily by his grandparents. He was interested in music throughout his childhood and enjoyed late-night radio broadcasts of country music, gospel music, and rhythm and blues. When he was seven years old, his instructors at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh began to notice his musical talents. He began studying classical music and learned to play several instruments, but found the piano the easiest to master.
In high school, Milsap formed a rock band with some of his classmates. He was awarded a full college scholarship to Young Harris College in Young Harris, Ga. He attended college for a short time before leaving to pursue a full-time career in music. He released his first single in 1963 while living in Atlanta, Ga., and his first album in 1971 while living in Memphis, Tenn. He moved to Nashville, Tenn., the following year and in 1973, he signed his first record deal with RCA Records.
Milsap became one of country music’s biggest stars in the late ’70s and ’80s with songs such as “Smoky Mountain Rain,” “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World,” and “Stranger in My House.” He earned six Grammy Awards and released 40 number one county hits. His music often incorporated pop, R&B, and rock and roll elements, making him one of the most successful and versatile country singers of his time.
At his concerts, Milsap often pays tribute to the artists who have inspired him the most – Ray Charles, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. His remarkable range and versatility as a singer has helped him remain one of country music’s best-loved and most successful artists for decades. Milsap is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
To purchase tickets to any performance at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, to get more information, or to see a schedule of coming events, go to www.GreatMountainMusic.com or call (866)273-4615.