Tuesday, March 27th is a huge day for the country music world! On that day, the Country Music Association will announce the new class of country stars joining the Country Music Hall of Fame. This year’s categories include Modern Era, Veteran Era and Songwriter/Musician/Non-Performer (a category which switches annually).
Here’s a peek at several country stars who will fight for the ‘Modern Era’ bid. Artists such as Clint Black, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Faith HIll, Toby Keith, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt, Shania Twain, Hank Williams Jr. and Dwight Yoakam are all eligible after spending at least 20 years in the public spotlight. Of course all these country singers, among others, are valid candidates, but who will enter the Country Music Hall of Fame this year? Let’s take a look at some of their accomplishments and greatest moments…
Ontario native Shania Twain broke a RIAA record by becoming the first female artist ever to release back-to-back-to-back records certified diamond by selling at least 10 million units a pop. “The Queen of Country Pop” earned her moniker by becoming the all-time leader in sales among female country artists with 48 million. Overall, she comes in third place in country sales behind Garth Brooks and George Strait. There’s no doubt she earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but will this be the years she earns a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame?
On top of his sixteen studio albums, Kenny Chesney has been headlining tours every year since 2002 except for 2012, 2014 and 2017. Of course, the 49-year-old is best known for his massive stadium tours. Also, Chesney has earned a ridiculous amount of decorations including four CMA ‘Entertainer of the Year’ awards.
Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
Although only one member of this power country couple can earn a bid this year, both Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are notable candidates. Between starring in movies, headlining tours, releasing numerous records, earning spectacular awards, philanthropic work and raising three beautiful daughters together, it’s a struggle to think of achievements Tim and Faith haven’t accomplished.
Toby Keith has already had 20 tracks become No. 1 singles including “Beer for My Horses,” a compilation with Willie Nelson. As with many other stars on this list, Keith has dropped a bunch of albums and won a ton of awards. However, Keith has also ventured out into other business opportunities. Most notably, the Oklahoma native opened a string of restaurants throughout the United States. A staple at these restaurants is a drink Keith invented called the “Wild Shot.”
Although Martina McBride has never won a Grammy Award, she has been nominated fourteen times! These nominations, combined with her 14 studio albums are more than enough to earn serious consideration for the Country Music Hall of Fame. Not to mention her incredible charity work. Over the years, the “Concrete Angel” has partnered with dozens of charity organizations. McBride is currently on tour. Check out her official website for tour dates and more information.
Hank Williams Jr.
It’s truly a shock that Hank Williams Jr. has not yet joined his father (inducted in 1961) in the Country Music Hall of Fame. However, Hank is already a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. 37 studio albums and a few ‘Entertainer of the Year’ awards are just a few things the Louisiana native has to boast on his resume. Of course, his Grammy Award does not hurt. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Hank Williams Jr. solidify his position in the country music history books by achieving this great honor!
Unlike most artists on this list, Dwight Yoakam has more than 1 Grammy Awards to his name. To this day, the 61-year-old singer has already taken home two Grammys. To his credit, Yoakam has been nominated for 21 Grammy Awards throughout his career. Dwight also can boast about his heavy influence on country rock. His legacy will live on forever!
Who do you think should be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame?
Be sure to come back to Country Fancast to check for updates!