A b o u t R i c k y
"What comes from the heart reaches the heart." - Ricky McKinnie - -
Eric “Ricky” McKinnie is a member of the legendary gospel quartet, The Blind Boys of Alabama. As a group, the Blind Boys take their message of hope to audiences around the world. But when they aren’t traveling and performing together, Ricky shares his inspirational and more personal testimony through public speaking engagements and in small concerts where he either performs alone or with the Gospel group he founded in 1978, The Ricky McKinnie Singers.
McKinnie is a soulful vocalist and drummer who was raised in an Atlanta home that was always filled with the sounds of Gospel music. His mother, Sarah McKinnie Shivers, performed with popular local Gospel artists, including Gene Martin and Marvin Anderson, and she kept young McKinnie involved in Gospel music throughout his childhood. He followed his mother to the concerts she performed in; he sang in the church choirs she directed; and at her prodding, he took drum lessons in elementary, junior high and school.
It wasn’t long before McKinnie's musical experience and his ever-developing talents as a drummer and vocalist led to opportunities for him to perform with notable Gospel groups including The Soul Searchers, The Gospel Keynotes, and The Blind Boys of Alabama. In 1990, at the invitation of the legendary Clarence Fountain, Ricky became an official member of the Blind Boys. Together, they have earned 5 Grammy Awards, 4 Dove Awards, 1 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a host of other honors.
In addition to his achievements with the Blind Boys, Ricky earned a gold record in 1975 with the Gospel Keynotes for Jesus You’ve Been Good to Me. That same year, The City of Atlanta named May 10th Ricky McKinnie Day.
McKinnie loves his hometown and stays active showing support whenever he is home from travels. In 2005, Ricky was a contributing vocalist on The Brand Atlanta Campaign’s new Atlanta anthem, “The ATL”, which was produced by Dallas Austin in 2005 and featured other Atlanta-born or –based artists, including T-Boz of TLC, Monica, 112, Sammie, Jagged Edge, and Rehab.
McKinnie is endorsed by Sabien Cymbals, Vic Firth, and Taye Drums.