There are few honors to be had in country music that are as great as being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame, created in 1961, recognizes the best of the best in three different categories each having their own strict criteria for eligibility. One Modern Era artist is inducted annually and includes artists who are eligible for induction 20 years after reaching national prominence. The Veterans Era category also inducts one artist a year and includes artists that reached national prominence at least 45 years ago. The categories of Non-Performer, Songwriter and Recording, and/or Touring Musician are filled on rotation.
The 2016 Country Music Hall of Fame induction press conference was held this morning (March 29) in the rotunda of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. Special guests and media were on hand when emcee and fellow Hall of Fame member Brenda Lee announced famed music industry executive Fred Foster (Non-Performer), Grammy Award winning singer and country music trailblazer Randy Travis (Modern Era), and singer and fiddler extraordinaire Charlie Daniels (Veteran Era) as the newest members of the Hall of Fame.
"This is the one you don't ever dare dream about. This is the cherry on top of the icing...it don't go no farther than that. It's where the cake stops." 79-year old Daniels told the crowd. "I looked longingly at the Hall of Fame many times, but never thought I would see my plaque hanging here."
One of the most emotional moments of the ceremony came when Randy Travis made his way to the podium. Travis, who suffered a stroke in 2013, wasn't expected to survive but is now walking. An emotional Travis thanked the Country Music Association before his wife addressed the crowd on his behalf.
"He lived and he loved the songs that he wrote and the songs that he sang. He's a man of great courage, as you all know. He's kind and he's gentle and he has God-given talents," Mary Davis Travis said. "He chose a career that he hoped he could make a difference in. That career made a difference in him."
Watch Randy Travis' acceptance speech in the video below. The inductees will be formally inducted during the annual Medallion Ceremony later this year.
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