Country Music Hall of Fame

From left: Songwriter Dean Dillon, singer Hank Williams, Jr., and singer Marty Stuart are the newest inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Hank Williams Jr., Marty Stuart and songwriter Dean Dillon are the newest inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

Announced by the Country Music Association on Aug. 12, Williams, who often is 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,” Williams said in a statement. Williams’ 27-year-old daughter Katherine died in a car accident 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.” 

Williams is known for his songs like “A Country Boy Can Survive,” “Family Tradition” and “All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin’ Over Tonight,” which later became the opening theme song for “Monday Night Football.”

While Williams’ influence on country music has been undeniable, his absence from the Hall of Fame in previous years was widely considered a snub based on his outspoken politics. Williams has been a vocal critic of former President Barack Obama, falsely calling him a “Muslim president.” As a result, ESPN pulled his song from “Monday Night Football,” although it has since returned. 

He won entertainer of the year at the CMA Awards twice, in 1987 and 1988, and three times at the Academy of Country Music Awards between 1986 and 1988. In 1989, he won CMA vocal event of the year for “There’s a Tear in My Beer,” a virtual duet with his late father, which also earned him a Grammy for best country vocal collaboration.

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.”

“It is the ultimate honor in country music,” said Stuart, 61, in a statement. 

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.” 

“I was just speechless,” said Dillon, 65, in a statement. 

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