Richard Hugh "Ritchie" Blackmore (born 14 April 1945) is an English guitarist and songwriter. He began his career as a session musician as a member of the instrumental band The Outlaws and as a backing musician of pop singers such as Glenda Collins, Heinz, Screaming Lord Sutch and Neil Christian.
Blackmore was one of founding members of Deep Purple in 1968, playing jam-style hard-rock music which mixed guitar riffs and organ sounds. During his solo career, he established a heavy metal band called Rainbow which fused baroque music influences and elements of hard rock. Rainbow gradually progressed to catchy pop style hard rock. Later in life, he formed the traditional folk rock project Blackmore's Night transitioning to vocalist-centred sounds. Their latest album, All Our Yesterdays, was released on 18 September 2015. As a member of Deep Purple, Blackmore was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016.