Richard Gordon "Rik" Emmett (born July 10, 1953 in Toronto) is a vocalist, guitarist, and founding member of the Canadian rock band Triumph. Emmett left Triumph in 1988 to pursue a solo career. His first solo album, Absolutely, was released in 1990 and became a moderate hit across North America thanks to the hits "When a Heart Breaks" and "Saved by Love". He is also a writer for Guitar Player magazine and teaches songwriting and music business at Humber College in Toronto.
For a time during the 1980s, Rik Emmett also contributed cartoons satirizing the music industry to Hit Parader magazine.
Due to a production error in spelling his name correctly by Gil Moore and Mike Levine on Triumph’s first album, Rick Emmett changed the spelling of his name to Rik rather than have the album recalled or cause confusion with fans.
Among his peers, Rik Emmett is widely considered to be one of the most proficient and versatile guitarists. Although he is best known as a premier rock guitarist, his playing style incorporates rock, blues, jazz, classical, bluegrass and flamenco techniques. Similarly, his songwriting and discography demonstrate his ability to employ and blend multiple genres. In April 2005, Emmett was lauded with the Canadian Smooth Jazz Award for Guitarist of the Year.
He’s also a proficient singer, splitting lead vocal duties of Triumph with Gil Moore. However, most of the songs garnering radio play were Emmett’s as he tended to write and sing in a more "commercial" style, while Moore’s songwriting and singing were in more of a heavy metal style. Emmett’s voice also has a noticeable resemblance to fellow Canadian rocker Geddy Lee from the progressive rock band Rush.
In 2007, Rik Emmett joined former Triumph bandmates Gil Moore and Mike Levine for their induction into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. And, on Sunday April 6, 2008 at The 2008 JUNO Awards, Triumph was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS).
As of 2008, Rik Emmett, Mike Levine and Gil Moore have agreed to play a rock festival in Sweden in the summer under the Triumph moniker. The group has said that more dates will follow.
As a result of very positive audience response to their dual guitar work in Rik’s live shows, Rik and fellow guitarist Dave Dunlop formed the mostly acoustic duo Strung-Out Troubadours, with two albums so far. In 2007, Strung-Out Troubadours won "Album of the Year" and "Group/Duo of the Year" at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards, where they were the most heavily nominated act. Both Rik & Dave were also nominated for "Best Guitarist". Emmett and Dunlop are scheduled to release another Strung-Out Troubadours release in 2009 titled Push & Pull.
Throughout his career, Emmett has been associated with guitars from Framus, Gibson, Dean and Yamaha, particularly as an endorser of the latter two.