Richard Hugh "Ritchie" Blackmore (born 14 April 1945) is an English rock guitarist who is an American resident, known for his work in Deep Purple, in addition to his solo band Rainbow, where he was the sole constant band member through numerous personnel changes. His current traditional folk rock duo is the Renaissance-themed Blackmore's Night with his partner Candice Night as vocalist. While with Rainbow, he changed his musical approach multiple times following each lead singer's departure and it is said that the result was the confusion and alienation of many of his supporters. Blackmore started his music career as a member of local bands in the early 1960s.