Jim Ed Brown passed away in June, only a few months before he was to be officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame along with his sisters Maxine Brown and Bonnie Brown, as part of the group the Browns. But although Jim Ed Brown didn't live long enough to enjoy the official celebration, Maxine Brown says that he was thrilled to receive the nomination before his death -- even if he was a bit concerned about his siblings accepting the honor on his behalf.

"I’m really at a loss for words," Maxine Brown told The Boot and other reporters at a media event honoring the trio. "This is the biggest thrill of our lives. We’ve worked so hard to achieve this goal, and it’s a little sad without Jim Ed, too, but I know he’s here.

"He told me before he died -- he was in the hospital, and he said, ‘Now don’t you make an a-- of yourself, and don’t cause us to lose that award,'" Brown recalls.

Bonnie Brown was also in attendance, even though she recently announced her own battle with lung cancer.

"This news came as a shock to our family, as we are still mourning the loss of my big brother, Jim Ed ...," Bonnie Brown says. "As Jim Ed said at the announcement of our induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame earlier this year, ‘Cancer is no fun,' and I agree."

Still, Bonnie and Maxine Brown's focus remains on honoring the trio's legacy.

"I don’t want it to be a sad occasion," Bonnie Brown insists. "I want it to be a happy occasion."

Adds Maxine Brown, "Bonnie and I and Jim Ed have worked all these years. We never gave up working toward this goal, and I’m glad it finally happened. That’s why I’m so sorry he’s not here."

Along with the Browns, the late Grady Martin and the Oak Ridge Boys will also be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year, in a special ceremony that is scheduled to be held on Oct. 25.

Jim Ed Brown + More Country Stars Who Died in 2015