Ricky Skaggs is about to receive one of the highest honors in country music as the bluegrass and country singer is formally inducted into the country music hall of fame on Sunday, Oct. 21.
The announcement was first made in March, at a Country Music Association (CMA)-hosted press conference, with superstars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood announcing the big news.
"I was totally shocked, and I burst into tears when I heard that I was gonna be the newest inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame," Skaggs said, according to his website. "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 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 in this great Country Music Hall of Fame. What an incredible honor. Thank you Jesus, and thank you CMA," Skaggs added.
The singer began to play the mandolin at just 5 years old and had played with bluegrass legends, Flatt & Scruggs, for the first time by age 10. Skaggs won his first CMA in 1982 for male vocalist of the year at 28 years old.
"CMA Entertainer was a great thing in '85, first No. 1 record, first GRAMMY, fifteenth GRAMMY – on and on and on. Those things are great," Skaggs told PopCulture.com. "This is beyond great. I don't know in country music if there's anything any higher than this. There's nothing."
Skaggs has accumulated several accolades during his long and storied career, with eight CMA Awards, nine ACM Awards and 15 Grammy Awards under his belt, according to CMT.com. The artist has released more than 30 albums since he began playing music more than 50 years ago, in addition to putting on thousands of live shows. In 1997, he even began his own record label, Skaggs Family Records.
Alongside Skaggs, Dottie West and Johnny Gimble will both be inducted posthumously on Sunday. West will be inducted under the veterans era artist category while Gimble will be inducted in the recording and/or touring musician category.
After the three artists join the Hall of Fame, membership will increase from 133 to 136 members, according to CMT.com.