January 4, 2024

“Queen of Bluegrass” Rhonda Vincent makes her way to the Spruce Peak Arts stage this Thursday, January 11th! Before she and her band, The Rage, trek up North with their magnetic Missouri charm, get to know the lifelong musician and nineteen time IBMA Winner, including for Entertainer of the Year!

Rhonda Vincent was born in Kirksville, Missouri, on July 13, 1962. She was raised in nearby Greentop, Missouri. She is part of a long line of family musicians; the Vincent family had carried a touring group for five generations. Her musical journey began at age five when she sang gospel songs with her family’s band, later known as the “Sally Mountain Show.” Introduced to instruments by her father, Vincent received a snare drum on her sixth birthday, started playing mandolin at eight, and added the fiddle to her skills at 12. In 1970, at the age of eight, she recorded her first single, a rendition of “Mule Skinner Blues.”

The Vincent family extensively toured the Midwest during the 1970s and early 1980s. To this day, the family’s home-base remains rooted to Missouri. Vincent and her siblings host a large annual bluegrass festival, named the “Sally Mountain Music Festival,” in nearby Queen City, Missouri.


In 1985, still part of the family band, Vincent competed an early edition of a reality singing competition series for the now-defunct Nashville Network, called “You Can Be A Star.” Vincent won the competition, earning her a record deal with Giant Records. Vincent continued to perform with “Sally Mountain Show” while pursuing her own solo career; her first few albums branched into mainstream country music and underperformed.

After finding little success in country music, Vincent returned to her bluegrass roots with the release of the album “Back Home Again.” This album quickly became her most popular-to-date and earned her recognition as the All-American Bluegrass Girl, with “The Wall Street Journal” dubbing her “the New Queen of Bluegrass.” Vincent received numerous accolades, including the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Female Vocalist of the Year award for seven consecutive years from 2000 to 2006 and the IBMA Entertainer of the Year in 2001. In 2010, Vincent started her own label, Upper Management Music, under which she released the chart-topping album “Taken” featuring collaborations with artists like Dolly Parton.

Vincent’s successes only continued to grow into the 2010s. She ventured into duet albums with artists such as country legend Gene Watson and fellow singer Richard Lynch. She released a duet single with Dolly Parton as part of the Elton John/Bernie Taupin Tribute Project “Restoration” in 2018, something Vincent herself described as “surreal”. Vincent’s vocal prowess transcended bluegrass boundaries, earning her a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album in 2017. Her significant contributions were further acknowledged when she was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry on February 28, 2020, one of the greatest honors within the world of country/bluegrass music.

In sum, Vincent has won one Grammy Award, 19 IBMA Awards, and 89 SPBGMA Awards (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America). When not touring, she resides near where she grew up in Greentop, Missouri with her family. Her two daughters have grown up to create their own country/bluegrass groups, marking a sixth generation of Vincent musicians.

Want to know more about Rhonda Vincent? You can visit her website, https://www.rhondavincent.com , for even more info on the violin duo.

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