Hank Williams Jr. Leads Country Music Hall of Fame Class of 2020
Hank Williams Jr. heads up the newly announced Country Music Hall of Fame's Class of 2020. The country icon will be inducted into the country music institution in 2020 alongside Marty Stuart and songwriter Dean Dillon, the Country Music Association announced in a press release on Wednesday morning (Aug. 12).
Williams will be inducted in the Veterans Era Artist category, while Stuart will be inducted in the Modern Era Artist category. Dillon will be inducted in the Songwriter category, which is awarded every third year in rotation with the Recording and/or Touring Musician and Non-Performer categories.
Williams began his career as a performer more in the vein of his father, Hank Williams, before making a dramatic departure in both music and image, becoming a superstar in his own right with a string of hits that includes "Family Tradition," "All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)," "A Country Boy Can Survive," "Dixie on My Mind" and more.
“Bocephus has been eyeing this one for awhile. It’s a bright spot during a difficult year,” Williams states. “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.”
Stuart has long been one of the most respected modern traditionalists in country music. His hits include "Hillbilly Rock," "Tempted." "Burn Me Down" and "This One's Gonna Hurt You (for a Long, Long Time)," a collaboration with Travis Tritt.
"It is the ultimate honor in country music,” says Stuart. “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.”
Dillon has written songs for Kenny Chesney, Vern Gosdin, Toby Keith, Keith Whitley and more, but is best-known for his long association with George Strait, for whom he's written timeless hits including "The Chair," "Unwound," "Ocean Front Property" and more.
“I was just speechless,” Dillon admits of hearing about the honor. “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.”
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Dean, Marty and Hank Jr. into the unbroken circle and honor this revered milestone,” says CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern. “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.”
The Hall of Fame will formally induct the Class of 2020 in a ceremony that is to be announced.
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