Brooks & Dunn provided compelling delivery as hosts while announcing the three 2022 CMA Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees, reflecting on achievements and sharing stories with the crowd gathered at the Hall of Fame. Record executive Joe Galante was clearly moved at the news as he shared specifics of how much the recognition moved him (and Brooks & Dunn added personal touches to his music business story, too). Lorrie Morgan spoke touchingly on Whitley's behalf and also recognized Whitley's family members who were in attendance. The event shed even more light on Whitley's background - not the least of which is the fact that his untimely death came mere weeks before (a what was meant to be a surprise to him, he never knew) an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry. The groundbreaking Jerry Lee Lewis rounds out this year's three. Lewis made it well known he was just so grateful and happy to be there, thanking everyone and smiling as he began to speak after an introduction of "getting his name out there any way he could", proving it true by starting his acceptance with: "I'm Jerry Lee Lewis."
Lewis will be inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category and Whitley will be inducted in the “Modern Era Artist” category while Galante will be inducted in the “Non-Performer” category.
"To be recognized by Country Music with their highest honor is a humbling experience,” says Lewis. “The little boy from Ferriday, La. listening to Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams never thought he'd be in a Hall amongst them. I am appreciative of all those who have recognized that Jerry Lee Lewis music is Country Music and to our almighty God for his never-ending redeeming grace."
A formal induction ceremony for Lewis, Whitley and Galante will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater this Fall. Since 2007, the Museum’s Medallion Ceremony, a reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, has served as the official rite of induction for new members.
--written by Melissa Coker, with some quotes courtesy Zach Farnum at 117 Entertainment.
Tremendous congratulations to all of the inductees. And if you'd like to watch the full video for yourself, here it is (though unfortunately at any given moment the CMA may or may not have it set to private):
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Hi. I'm a member of the country club. Country Music is what I love.