With his baritone voice, cowboy hat, and penchant for sleeveless undershirts, Ricky Van Shelton helped kick off the late-'80s craze for country music "hunks." He scored a string of hits and was showered with awards, but by the early '90s, Shelton (Van is his middle name) was struggling with alcoholism and about to lose his record contract. He kicked his addiction, and went the independent route--his first self-released album appeared in 1997. Shelton has also released gospel albums, and has a second career as the author of the popular A DUCK NAMED QUACKER children's books. Despite a lack of chart hits, Shelton remains a fan favorite and a popular touring attraction.