NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Country Music Association has announced that Hank Williams Jr., Marty Stuart and Dean Dillon will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame for 2020.
Williams, Stuart and Dillon will be inducted into the categories, “Veterans Era Artist,” “Modern Era Artist,” and “Songwriter” respectively.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Dean, Marty and Hank Jr. into the unbroken circle and honor this revered milestone. I’m sad we can’t toast this year’s class in person at the Country Music Hall of Fame, but I hope this news can bring some joy and cause for celebration during this time that our world has turned upside down. In particular, our hearts are with Hank and his family following the recent loss of his daughter, Katherine,” said Sarah Trahern, the CMA’s CEO.
Williams, who is often referred to as Hank Jr. or the nickname Bocephus, will join his father, country legend Hank Williams Sr., in the Hall of Fame’s rotunda.
“Bocephus has been eyeing this one for awhile. It’s a bright spot during a difficult year,” said Williams in a statement. Williams’ 27-year-old daughter Katherine died in a car crash in June.
“I have been making Top 10 records for 56 years,” said Williams, 71. “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.”
Stuart, a five-time Grammy winner, started his career as a sideman playing in bands led by bluegrass legend Lester Flatt and Johnny Cash before starting his own artist career in the 1980s. Stuart charted six Top 10 Billboard Country songs, mostly during the 1990s, with songs like “Hillbilly Rock,” “Little Things” and “Tempted.”
He has won Grammys for his collaborations with Asleep at the Wheel, Earl Scruggs and Travis Tritt, including their well known duet “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin.‘”
Dillon is known for being the tunesmith behind George Strait’s dozens of hits, including “The Chair,” “Ocean Front Property” and “Here For a Good Time.” With Linda Hargrove, he also wrote the timeless classic “Tennessee Whiskey,” which has been covered by David Allan Coe, George Jones and Chris Stapleton, who turned it into a seven-time platinum hit.
“I was just speechless,” said Dillon, 65, in a statement. “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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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