Jerry Lee Lewis was finally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame alongside Keith Whitley and Joe Galante. 87-year-old Lewis planned to attend the medallion ceremony on Sunday (October 16). But he made a last minute decision not to attend per his doctor’s orders.
Lewis suffered a stroke in February 2019. He thankfully made a full recovery.
But it seems Lewis’ doctor feels he is not in a great state to travel at the moment. As CMHOF CEO Kyle Young told the audience during the ceremony:
“Ladies and gentlemen, Jerry Lee fully intended to be here for his induction. But at 10 AM his doctor told him it was too risky to travel.”
Young said Lewis’ wife, Judith, and other members of his family were there to represent him at the ceremony. Lewis’ good friend and fellow CMHOF member Hank Williams Jr. also spoke in recognition of Lewis. He said:
“Jerry Lee does not ask for your attention, he demands it. He doesn’t take the stage, he commands it.“
Lewis sent a note for Williams to read during the ceremony. It said:
“To be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame is the highest honor in country music…since I could not be in person with you today I asked one of my closest and dearest friends to accept this great honor for me…“
That’s when Williams revealed that another Country Music Hall of Famer, Kris Kristofferson, was chosen by Lewis to accept the medallion on his behalf.
You can watch Williams read Lewis’ note and see other moments from the CMHOF’s medallion ceremony in the video below.