Ronnie Milsap-was raised by his bluegrass-loving father and by his grandparents in the unincorporated Meadow Branch community in western North Carolina. He attended a school for the blind in Raleigh, enduring abusive treatment from some staff members and emerging with enhanced musical knowledge and a love of rock, pop and other non-Appalachian forms of music. When Milsap arrived in Nashville in the early 1970s, he was best known in Tennessee for the blues and rock music he'd been playing in Memphis clubs. "We know all about Milsap: He's a blues singer, a rock 'n' roll singer, not a counry singer," With one of modern music's most remarkable careers already under his belt, Milsap could relax, stay out of the studio, stay off the road and wait for someone to fashion the inevitable bronze plaque that will one day hang with his heroes in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Instead, he's driven to wake each day and do what others would call work and what he considers sustenance. "This life is such a wonderful journey, and I want the chance to live every bit of it," he says. "And music is a huge part of that. I live and breathe it every day."