Randy Travis, Charlie Daniels and Fred Foster are the latest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Travis will be inducted in the “Modern Era Artist” category, with Daniels going in in the “Veterans Era Artist” category. Foster will be inducted in the “Non-Performer” category, which is awarded every third year in a rotation with the “Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980” and “Songwriter” categories.
Announcement of the inductions, which bring the total Hall of Fame inductees to 130, came today in Nashville, at the hall’s rotunda, with Hall of Famer Brenda Lee hosting the ceremony.
“Each year, the announcement of the new Country Music Hall of Fame inductees is always a cause for celebration,” said Country Music Association (CMA) CEO Sarah Trahern. “This year’s class features three individuals who are revered for their respect of country music’s deep traditions, but are equally regarded for forging their own unique paths, taking the industry in new directions, and growing the fan base.”
Added the Hall of Fame and Museum’s CEO Kyle Young: “I marvel at the contributions of these three pathfinders who make up the class of 2016 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees. Fred Foster, Charlie Daniels, and Randy Travis came along in different eras and specialized in different things, but they each arrived with inventive, highly individualistic creative approaches. They ran against the grain of history, and in so doing they created their own indelible, historical marks.”
Travis, of course, helped usher in the “new traditional” country music movement of the mid-1980s with hits like “On the Other Hand” and “Forever and Ever, Amen,” earning Album of the Year, Male Vocalist and Single of the Year CMA Awards in 1987.
“The halls of fame are built for, and by, those that make a difference in their chosen career,” said Travis. “I chose a career that I loved–and, it made a difference in me! My greatest joy was sharing my song and my God-given talent with family, friends, fans, and the industry. Thank you for giving me the chance, for believing in me along the way, and for allowing me to ‘hang my hat’ alongside some of my greatest heroes. I am honored to join those before me, and humbled to go ahead of those that will follow into Country Music’s Hall of Fame: no greater award could I ask to receive. God bless CMA and God bless our country’s music—Forever and Ever, Amen!”
Fiddler Charlie Daniels’ 1979 crossover hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” took the CMA Award for Single of the Year and a Grammy Award. His other hits include “The South’s Gonna Do It” and Long Haired Country Boy,” and he has performed with everyone from Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen to Marty Robbins and the Marshall Tucker Band.
“I have harbored many lofty ambitions, but I was almost afraid to dream that I would ever be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, what a surprise, what a blessing. Thank you God,” said Daniels.
Foster helped launch the careers of fellow Country Music Hall of Fame members Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Roy Orbison, via his Monument Records label.
“Being involved in Country Music is like being part of an extended family,” said Foster. “We all share common goals and we do our best to honor the heritage and tradition of the music. Having been able to make a living doing what I love for 58 years has truly been a blessing. Without the support of so many talented singers, songwriters, musicians and engineers, this award would never have been possible. I share this honor with all of them. Thank you CMA; this will go to the top of my most cherished memories.”
Formal induction ceremonies for Daniels, Foster, and Travis will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater later this year.