Ricky Skaggs Receives His High School Diploma

Amy Harris/Invision/AP

Country Music Hall of Fame member Ricky Skaggs has finally received his high school diploma. The country and bluegrass legend would've graduated in 1971, but opted to go on tour with Dr. Ralph Stanley instead.

Skaggs' Kentucky alma mater of Lawrence County High School presented Skaggs with the diploma in June of 2020 during the school's virtual graduation ceremony, which also included appearances by country artists Tyler Childers and Larry Cordle, who co-wrote George Strait and Alan Jackson's "Murder on Music Row."

"It was an amazing surprise and answered prayer of my mom," Skaggs said in a statement. "She wanted me to graduate before I went full time with Ralph Stanley on the road. I was about as proud of that as anything I've been given."

Dr. Robbie Fletcher, the Superintendent of Lawrence County High School, gave Skaggs his diploma in the surprise presentation.

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In the '70s, the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist joined Stanley's band the Clinch Mountain Boys, alongside fellow country singer-songwriter Keith Whitley.

Skaggs would go on to rack up a string of country hits, including "Uncle Pen," "I Wouldn't Change You If I Could," "Heartbroke," "Highay 40 Blues," "Country Boy" and more.

In 1982, the mandolin virtuoso became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2018 and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

In January of 2021, Skaggs was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Donald Trump.

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Ricky Skaggs Receives His High School Diploma