The Country Music Association held a press conference this morning to announce the 2018 inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame—Johnny Gimble, Ricky Skaggs and Dottie West.
Gimble will be inducted in the “Recording and/or Touring Musician” category, which is awarded every third year in rotation with the “Songwriter” and “Non-Performer” categories. Skaggs will be inducted in the “Modern Era Artist” category, while West will be inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category. Gimble, Skaggs and West will increase membership in the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame from 133 to 136 members.
“This honor is the highest achievement in our industry, and each of this year’s inductees have helped define Country Music throughout the decades,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “We’re thrilled to congratulate them today and welcome them into the distinguished circle that is the Country Music Hall of Fame.”
Upon receiving the news, Gimble’s family shared their immediate reactions: “Touched. Happy Hearted. Proud of Papa. Grateful. Honored. Blessed. Amazingly Graced!”
“I was totally shocked and I burst into tears when I heard that I was going to be the newest inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame,” said Skaggs. “When I came to Nashville in 1980, I came to play music and hopefully get a record deal. All of that happened, but I never dreamed that I’d ever be a member of this hallowed Hall. ‘Why me? And why now?’ was going through my mind. There are so many others that have inspired me, encouraged me, ones that I’ve truly learned from, and ones that have made such great contributions to Country and Bluegrass music. I’m humbled and very grateful to soon be listed among my many heroes.”
“The whole West family is full of emotion,” said West’s daughter, Shelly West. “When I got the news that Dottie was being inducted, I don’t remember if I was laughing or crying louder! My heart just swelled as I knew that Mom’s fans would soon hear this sweet news. Our deepest thanks to our great and hardworking CMA folks and our special friends at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Although she sings in the angel’s band these years, she has needed her resting home on earth. She will have that home here at the Country Music Hall of Fame, sharing her love with all.”
A formal induction ceremony for Gimble, Skaggs, and West will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in the CMA Theater 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.
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.
“This year’s class of inductees is notable not only for their indelible individual achievements, but also for the extent to which they have aided other artists’ greatness,” said Kyle Young, Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum Chief Executive Officer. “Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West, and Johnny Gimble are revered for their open-minded approaches to music, but beloved because of their open-hearted approaches to life.”