Each year, the Country Music Hall of Fame names a new class of inductees to join its prestigious ranks. As a country artist, being named as an inductee into the Hall of Fame is one of the greatest accomplishments you could ever achieve.
After much anticipation, the Hall of Fame announced its 2017 class of inductees on Wednesday (April 5). Current Hall of Fame member and country icon Vince Gill was given the honor of revealing the inductees in the three categories: Veterans Era Artist, Modern Era Artist, and Songwriter.
Gill announced the inductee in the Veterans Era category first. He spoke of the man’s great talent as a guitarist, saying he “sure inspired the way I play.” He also spoke of his many hit songs, including “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” “Amos Moses,” and “The Bird.” After all of the buildup, Gill was happy to reveal that the Veterans Era inductee was the late Jerry Reed.
Reed’s daughters Lottie and Seidina spoke on their father’s behalf, expressing how much he would have treasured the honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. “It’s really just now hitting me what is happening here…if dad were here he would be so humbled and so grateful, because music was his life,” said Lottie.
Once Reed’s daughters left the stage, Gill was happy to announce the inductee in the Songwriter category. That inductee was none other than Don Schlitz, who is responsible for penning some of the biggest country hits of the past few decades: Kenny Rogers‘ “The Gambler,” Randy Travis‘ “Forever and Ever, Amen,” and Keith Whitley‘s “When You Say Nothing At All.”
Finally, Gill stepped up to announce the inductee in the Modern Era category. As he spoke about this artist’s great appreciation for the country music of his youth, it quickly became clear who he was talking about. It became all the more clear as he talked about his many accomplishments as a singer and songwriter.
But the dead giveaway was when Gill talked about this artist’s signature cowboy hat. The crowd soared to its feet as Gill announced that the Modern Era inductee was none other than Alan Jackson.
With tears in his eyes, Jackson took to the stage and spoke of how honored he was. He said that people always ask him what he’d still like to accomplish in his career, since he has already achieved so much. Not wanting to sound “pretentious,” he never said that he wanted to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. But now that he has been named as an inductee, Jackson can check off yet another accomplishment.
“This is about the last dream on the list right here,” he said. “So thank y’all so much.”
You can tune in below to watch the Hall of Fame’s inductee announcement. Gill starts revealing the inductees around the ten minute mark in the video.
Congratulations to the three new Hall of Fame inductees!