Brooks & Dunn, Ray Stevens and Jerry Bradley will be the next members of the Country Music Hall of Fame! The announcement was made by radio host Bill Cody on Monday, March 18.
Brooks & Dunn will be inducted into the Modern Era category, honoring their numerous contributions to country music, with a career that still seems to be growing.
"Time flies. I don't have a concept of how that works mathematically anyway," Ronnie Dunn said from stage. "It's beyond an honor to be here. It hasn't sunk in to me and probably will at some time. When I'm off my by myself, I'll have an emotional moment."
"I think probably one of the first places I went when i came to town in 1980 was the Country Music Hall of Fame," Kix Brooks added. "I'm just a fan of country music. I grew up being a fan of country music. I'm still a fan of country music. That's why we dedicate our lives to doing it."
While both Brooks and Dunn were busy pursuing solo country music careers in the '80s, record label executive Tim DuBois suggested the men join together to form a duo. Brooks & Dunn burst onto the country music scene in 1991 with "Brand New Man," the title track of their freshman album. Throughout the next almost two decades, Brooks & Dunn released ten studio albums, charting more than 40 singles, including No. 1 hits like "Boot Scootin' Boogie," "My Maria," "How Long Gone," "Play Something Country" and more.
The duo also amassed dozens of awards throughout their illustrious career, including 19 CMA Awards, 29 ACM Awards and two Grammy Awards. Brooks & Dunn announced they were splitting up in 2009 to pursue solo projects, later reuniting with their good friend Reba McEntire in 2015 for a Las Vegas residency, Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas. In 2019, Brooks & Dunn announced they were releasing a new album, Reboot, re-recording some of their most beloved hits with artists like Luke Combs, Kacey Musgraves, Kane Brown and more.
Ray Stevens will be inducted in the Veteran category. The 80-year-old has created a diverse career for himself, as a producer, comedian, songwriter and singer. As a songwriter, Stevens had numerous credits, including "Everything is Beautiful," "A Mama and a Papa," "Misty" and his beloved "The Streak."
"This is, without a doubt, the greatest honor that anybody could ever receive, not only in Nashville but in any place in the world, the greatest music business honor," Stevens said. "It's almost too much to take in, to be recognized as being worthy of joining this group of folks who are already members of the Hall of Fame, who I have admired for many years."
Jerry Bradley will be inducted in the Non-Performer category. Bradley's numerous credits as both a record label and producer include several iconic artists such as Ray Charles, Parton, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Alabama and more.
"This is the greatest honor anyone could achieve in country music," Bradley stated. "I will be proud to take my place in the Country Music Hall of Fame."
Brooks & Dunn, Stevens and Bradley will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the Medallion Ceremony this fall. The event is closed to the public.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Ethan Miller