Jennifer Nettles, Stephen Colbert Pay Tribute to Toby Keith, Bobby Braddock at 2015 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
On Thursday evening, Toby Keith and Bobby Braddock were officially inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, with a little help from Stephen Colbert and Jennifer Nettles.
Colbert paid tribute to Keith -- a frequent guest on The Colbert Report throughout its run -- with his own version of the country superstar's 2005 hit "As Good as I Once Was" and a hilarious induction speech.
"Once you listen to what he has to say and sing, everybody has a good time," Colbert said of Keith. "... Toby, the dynamic performer, is unapologetically patriotic, opinionated, brash and often controversial, resonating [with] legions of fans by writing up their lives in a very real way ...
"Toby Keith is an American classic whose songs resonate with family values," Colbert continued, perhaps a tad bit sarcastically, as he added, "For instance, the song I just sang ["As Good as I Once Was"] is the heartwarming tale of a man in a bar who has sex with two women -- who happen to be sisters. Family values ..."
"I don't know if people know that I wrote all that stuff, but I outworked everybody. I put a[n] album out every year, I wrote 99 percent of it, and this is the reward you get," Keith tells ABC Radio. "And this is the only award I ever wanted. Entertainer of the Year and all the other stuff I got -- Album of the Year, Vocalist of the Year -- I don't care. This is the one I wanted."
Nettles helped pay tribute to Braddock, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame member and writer of hits including Tammy Wynette‘s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” TG Sheppard’s “I Feel Like Loving You Again,” Keith’s “I Wanna Talk About Me" and George Jones‘ “He Stopped Loving Her Today."
"It is the quintessential, most beautiful, most heartbreaking country song, I think, that has ever been written," Nettles says of "He Stopped Loving Her Today," which she performed during the ceremony. "... I have such vivid memories of being a little girl and listening to this song and realizing what it was about, and, of course, he dies, which is perfect for country!"
Zac Brown was also on hand to salute Jerry Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter, the duo behind numerous Grateful Dead hits.
"I've been covering Dead songs since, y'know, I was probably 15, 16," Brown says. "... [The Grateful Dead] basically invented outdoor P.A. systems -- from that to the culture they made with their fans ... The legacy that they made and created is very inspiring and definitely influential on me."
Also part of the Class of 2015 for the Songwriters Hall of Fame were blues legend Willie Dixon, Cyndi Lauper and Linda Perry.
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