JAM Magazine Main Features

Ricky Van Shelton

RICKY VAN SHELTON ... Country's Simple Man

He's got a smile on his face, and can you blame him? Backroads, the most recent release from Ricky Van Shelton, continues to dominate the country music charts. With mega hits such as "Rockin' Years" (a duet with Dolly Parton) bringing him deserved recognition via nominations to the Academy of Country Music, Shelton — who describes as "tunnel vision" his passion for being an entertainer — has worked an entire lifetime to gain the status he now commands.

"This has been my whole life's dream! I couldn't stop playing if I wanted to," laughed Shelton, in an interview prior to this year's upcoming FARM AID extravaganza at Texas Stadium.

Female fans have always put Shelton high on the list when it comes to "hunk status," and this self-pro­claimed simple man still has trouble coming to grips with the adoring public.

"It's always strange ... but exciting," laughed Shelton, commenting about female fans who often surround his tour bus, tearing at his clothes, "to have people who want to touch you that much!"

Ricky Van Shelton is most proud of the Backroads single "Keep It Between the Lines," a touching ballad with a supporting video which claimed the #1 spot on CMT for several weeks. Filmed on his private farm, the video also featured one of Shelton's vintage automobiles, a hobby which keeps him busy when not on the road or in the recording studio.

Ricky Van Shelton will join other artists at this year's FARM AID V, an event headed by Willie Nelson to aid the nation's farmers. March 14 at Texas Stadium will be the site of this year's all-day event.