Lorrie Morgan was overjoyed with pride on Tuesday when she had the opportunity to celebrate her late husband, Keith Whitley, with the long-awaited announcement of his Country Music Hall of Fame induction.
Morgan, along with other members of the country music community gathered in the Hall of Fame Rotunda at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for the unveiling of the 2022 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees.
Revealed by Country Music Hall of Fame members Brooks & Dunn, Keith Whitley will soon officially be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the Modern Era Artist category.
Morgan, Whitley’s widow, who is also a celebrated country artist and Grand Ole Opry member, accepted the honor on Whitley’s behalf.
“He never accepted that he could have a great record deal, or he could have as much as anybody else had in this industry,” Morgan shared. “He would be absolutely blown away if he were here today. He would be saying that surely they got it wrong.”
She also admitted that Whitley “never knew how good he was” and later issued the following statement:
“In my heart, this feels like an absolutely appropriate honor, but at the same time, I know that Keith would be painfully humbled, and even shy about accepting an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Music was all about emotion to Keith. It was personal. There were so many great artists he admired, even worshiped. To stand in their company in the Hall of Fame would’ve been overwhelmingly emotional for him. I am thrilled to see him honored this way, and for what it means to my children, Morgan and Jesse Keith; to Keith’s grandchildren; the Whitley family; and to the many, many fans who continue to point to Keith as one of the all-time greats.”
Keith Whitley’s country music career was short-lived, as only four years seven months and 10 days passed between his first appearance on the Billboard Country singles charts and his sudden death on May 9, 1989. His music, however, has lived on for decades and continues to impact and influence artists and fans to this day.
Throughout his career, Whitley earned five No.1 singles and had a total of 19 singles on the Billboard country charts.
The Country Music Hall of Fame class of 2022 inductees also include Joe Galante in the Non-Performer category and Jerry Lee Lewis in the Veteran’s Era Artist category.