The 2020 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees have officially been announced, with this year's group including Hank Williams Jr., Marty Stuart and Dean Dillon. Williams Jr. is being inducted as part of the "Veterans Era Artist" category, Stuart as part of the "Modern Era Artist" category and Dillon as a "Songwriter" — a category that rotates every third year between Recording/Touring Musician, Non-Performer and Songwriter.
"It is the ultimate honor in country music," Stuart said in a statement. "I'm so honored to be included in this class and I'm honored to be included alongside Hank Jr. and Dean Dillon. I love those people. To be officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame is beyond words. I'm usually not at a loss for words. [...] I was just speechless. Trying to soak in the words that I had just heard. My life flashed before my eyes. You could’ve knocked me over with a feather."
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"Bocephus has been eyeing this one for a while. It’s a bright spot during a difficult year," Williams Jr. said. "I have been making Top 10 records for 56 years. I fell off a mountain and tried to reinvent myself as a truly individual artist and one who stepped out of the shadows of a very famous man… one of the greatest. I’ve got to thank all those rowdy friends who, year after year, still show up for me. It’s an honor to carry on this family tradition. It is much appreciated."
The Country Music Association typically holds a press conference in the rotunda of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville to announce each year's inductees, an event that was not held in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, CMA visited Stuart and Dillon to film their reactions. Information about a formal induction ceremony for this year's inductees will be released as details become available. 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.
"In this, the most exclusive of music halls of fame, we now have three new deserving members," said Kyle Young, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Chief Executive Officer. "One is the son of one of American music's greatest masters who became a self-made master of his own. One is a child of tough-town Mississippi who became a force for togetherness, inclusion and righteous musicality. And the third is an East Tennessee kid who triumphed over a hard youth to write words and melodies that have enriched us all. In a year of turmoil, strife and dissent, this announcement is something all of us can cheer."