Richard Hugh “Ritchie” Blackmore (born 14 April 1945) is a British guitarist and songwriter, who first came to prominence in the English hard rock band Deep Purple, later establishing his favoured Europeanness hard rock style in his own band Rainbow, which fused intricate classical music elements with blues rock. Thereafter, his career gradually progressed to catchy, pop-style rock music. Later in life, he formed the traditional folk rock project Blackmore’s Night, transitioning to vocalist-centered sounds.
Soon after receiving electric guitar lessons, he began his professional career as a session musician, as a member of the instrumental band The Outlaws, and as a backing musician of pop singersGlenda Collins, Heinz, Screaming Lord Sutch, Neil Christian, etc. Despite his classical leanings, Blackmore became an original member of Deep Purple, playing jam-style hard rock which mixed guitar riffs and progressive-style organ sounds. However, two of Deep Purple’s three reunion albums (The House of Blue Light, Slaves & Masters) displayed a sound that is closer to Rainbow’s music.