Each week, another honoree is revealed on CMT Hot 20 Countdown .
Gill began his professional career as the lead singer of Pure Prairie League in the late ’70s before going solo. Since then, he has recorded over 20 studio albums and charted five No. 1 singles. He is also an accomplished producer and became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
Widely noted for his singing, songwriting and guitar-playing talents, Gill is also revered for his big heart.
“First of all, that voice, I don’t think anyone can argue with it,” Williams began. “I hope that Vince Gill is singing in heaven. It is the greatest voice that I have ever heard.”
“Vince Gill is one of the greatest vocalists ever,” Parton agreed. “I love him. I think he’s a legend.”
For Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, the “I Still Believe in You” singer is a huge inspiration.
“Vince Gill is my favorite country artist of all time, just for the purity of his voice,” Kelley said. “As a singer, I grew up looking up to great vocalists, and Vince is one of those guys that could stop me in my tracks.”
Speaking as a guitar player, Haywood had a similar point of view.
“His playing is incredible,” Haywood said. “He can sing, but when he comes off the mic, he’s still entertaining because you get captivated by the way he plays. He’s got such an incredible finesse and such a quality to his style. … He’s the total package.”
“I think anybody from any genre can notice those things,” Monroe added.
“It’s a whole other level of talent,” Nail said. “He’s probably one of the most phenomenal pickers in Nashville.”
But even without his musical talents, everyone agrees that Gill is a bright spot in country music.
“Vince Gill is probably my favorite thing in country music, period, besides my father,” Williams said. “He’s someone who, if you know him personally, is just hilarious. Such a great sense of humor, is so supportive of artists in the industry and put out some of the greatest albums and songs that we’ve ever had.”
“The thing about Vince is he has always been respectful of everyone in our community, no matter what their job or position is,” Worsham said. “He’s the standard bearer for the country music tradition while, at the same time, he still puts out great new music and he’s not afraid to evolve. He gives back to his community in a way that is important for young artists like me to remember. Because if we don’t do the same, we’ll lose a great deal of our history and our story.”
Check out the rest of the CMT All-Time Top 40: Artists Choice list, and find out who will be announced each Saturday at 11 a.m. ET/PT on CMT Hot 20 Countdown.