Country Music Hall of Fame Names Next Class

Clockwise: Jimmy Dean, Ferlin Husky, Billy Sherrill, and Don Williams

The Country Music Association announced today that Jimmy Dean, Ferlin Husky, Billy Sherrill, and Don Williams will become the newest members of the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame.

Due to a tie in the voting, both Dean and Husky will be inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category. Williams will be inducted in the “Modern Era Artist” category. Sherrill will be inducted in the “Non-Performer” category, which is awarded every third year in a rotation with the “Recording and/or Touring Musician” and “Songwriter” categories. Dean, Husky, Sherrill, and Williams will increase membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame from 108 to 112 inductees.

“These four gentlemen broadened Country Music immensely with their talents, exposing millions of fans around the world to our format,” said Steve Moore, Chairman of the CMA Board of Directors. “Their contributions to the genre and to popular culture are immeasurable, and we are proud to award them the highest honor in Country Music.”

Induction ceremonies for Dean, Husky, Sherrill and Williams will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum later this year. Since 2007, the Museum’s Medallion Ceremony, an annual reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, has served as the official rite of induction for new members.

“The 2010 honorees are Southern men who have used their voices, songwriting, instruments and life experience to create enduring Country Music that dominated popularity charts throughout the middle and closing decades of the 20th Century,” said Museum Director Kyle Young. “Their songs, recordings, live performances, and presence on radio, television, and even in the movies, are part of the sonic architecture that now frames our music in the mainstream. We extend our heartiest congratulations to them all and look forward to the stories and fellowship to come.”

“I thought I was already in there,” said Dean humorously. “Seriously, it brought a huge grin to my face. I am honored.”

An emotional Husky said, “I’d like to thank my Lord Jesus Christ for dying for me, saving my soul, and bringing me into the world as a country boy. And also, for giving me the talent to sing, entertain, and help convert millions around the world to Country Music. I’m still a country boy and proud of it. In the words of my close friend, the late Stringbean, ‘I sure am glad I’m me!'”

“Anything I have ever accomplished would have been totally impossible without the help and support of the greatest songwriters and musicians in the world, and of course what I stole from Owen Bradley,” said Sherrill.

“I feel extremely honored and overwhelmed with this news,” said Williams. “It is unbelievable that CMA thought about me in this manner.”

CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format with Country Music’s highest honor.

For more information on the inductees and the election process click here.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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