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Alan Jackson Among Trio Named to Country Hall of Fame

Variety logo Variety 4/5/2017 Lawrence Yee
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Alan Jackson, Jerry Reed, and Don Schlitz are the 2017 inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Country Music Association made the announcement Wednesday morning.

Jackson will be inducted in the “Modern Era Artist.” Reed, who passed away in 2008, will be posthumously inducted into the “Veterans Era Artist” category. Schlitz will be inducted in the “Songwriter” category, which is awarded every third year in rotation with the “Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980” and “Non-Performer” categories. Reed, Jackson, and Schlitz will increase membership in the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame from 130 to 133 members.

“For me to say I’m honored sounds like the standard old response, but for a man who loves Country Music there is no higher honor,” Jackson — one of country’s biggest and most prolific acts — declared during the press conference. “This is the mountain top!”

“I live in the parentheses; I’m just a small part of a wonderful process of making music. This is overwhelming and humbling,” said Schlitz, the writer of such hits like “The Gambler,” “On the Other Hand,” “Forever and Ever, Amen,” “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” “The Greatest,” and “When You Say Nothing At All.”

“Thank you, CMA and Country Music Hall Of Fame, for recognizing all the years of love, dedication, and hard work that daddy put into his craft. He loved Country Music and would be so deeply humbled and appreciative if he was here. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Reed’s two daughters, Seidina Hubbard and Lottie Zavala.

“Each of this year’s inductees are well versed performers and songwriters and have helped define Country Music and popular culture,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer.

Hank Williams, Fred Rose, and Jimmie Rodgers were the inaugural inductees back in 1961. Other notable members of the Country Music Hall of Fame include Johnny Cash (1980), Loretta Lynn (1988), Merle Haggard (1994), Elvis Presley (1998), Reba McEntire (2011), Garth Brooks (2012), and most recently Randy Travis (2016).

Formal induction ceremonies for Jackson, Reed, and Schlitz will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater later this year.

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