Happy belated birthday to Ritchie Blackmore, who was born on April 14, 1945 in Weston-super-Mare, England.

Session musician and original member of Deep Purple, Ritchie went on to form Rainbow, and then later created the traditional folk rock project, Blackmore's Night (in 1997) with his girlfriend, Candace Night.

Blackmore married Night in 2008, and they have two children together.

His guitar chops have been well recognized: Blackmore was ranked number 16 on Guitar World's "100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time" in 2004,and number 55 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" in 2011.

Blackmore's Night is currently on tour overseas.