Ritchard Hugh Blackmore, (born April 14, 1945) is a noted British guitarist. Born in Weston-super-Mare, he moved to Heston, Middlesex at the age of two. His father bought him his first guitar when he was about 10 in 1955 and he then took some classical guitar lessons.
In the 1960s he started out as a session player and performed in several bands, Heinz & Wild Boys, Screaming Lord Sutch, The Outlaws, Glenda Collins and BOZ. He was a co-founder of the hard rock group Deep Purple in 1968, and continued to be a member, and the main creative anchor, of Deep Purple from 1968 through 1975. The influences to become The Man In Black were derived from Lord Sutch. Other musicans who followed the Black-Outfit of Lord Sutch were Alice Cooper, Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne.
In 1971 Blackmore participated in a project called the Green Bullfrog. In 1972 Blackmore made a star-struck, albeit little known, run in the title role in the London production of the famed musical Jesus Christ Superstar. He filled in for the regular actor Paul Nicholas for five weeks while Nicholas was on vacation and received horrible reviews while in the show, indicating that a theatre career was not to be.
After Deep Purple, Blackmore formed another well-known progressive-metal/hard rock band called Rainbow. His current venture is quite different (but also extremely successful), as he teamed up with Candice Night to create the Renaissance-style group Blackmore's Night.