Band member Lester Flatt resigned as well, and he and Scruggs later paired up in a new group called "Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys".
Scruggs was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts; the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts in the US.
Four works by Scruggs have been placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
At age ten, when Scruggs first learned the technique, he recalled that he was at home in his room after a quarrel with his brother.
He was idly playing a song called "Reuben" and suddenly realized that he was playing with three fingers, not two.
He became a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1985, Flatt and Scruggs were inducted together into the Country Music Hall of Fame and named, as a duo, number 24 on CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music.
He popularized the instrument in several genres of music and elevated the banjo from its role as a background rhythm instrument, or a comedian's prop, into featured solo status.
Scruggs' career began at age 21 when he was hired to play in a group called "Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys".
The name "bluegrass" eventually became the eponym for the entire genre of country music now known by that title.