Bestselling country duo of all time Brooks & Dunn, comedian and singer Ray Stevens and record executive Jerry Bradley joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in a star-filled ceremony full of tributes to their lasting country music legacies.
Reba McEntire, Luke Bryan, Trisha Yearwood, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt were among the guest performers during the medallion ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Each inductee received a medallion and a plaque that will be placed inside the Hall of Fame rotunda.
Brooks & Dunn were an unlikely pairing of two artists who both started out solo. Neither Kix Brooks nor Ronnie Dunn thought the partnership would last, but decades later they are the most awarded and bestselling country duo of all time, with 19 CMA Awards, two Grammys, 25 Academy of Country Music Awards and 20 No. 1 hits.
Brooks' flamboyant nature and guitar playing served as the perfect counterpoint to Dunn's stellar singing and more understated personality.
With hits such as Brand New Man, Boot Scootin' Boogie, My Maria and Neon Moon, the pair filled arenas and sold more than 28 million albums in the US alone. They took a break in 2010, but reunited in the studio nearly a decade later to release new duet versions of their hits with today's country stars in an album called Reboot.
Comedian and country singer Ray Stevens, who learned to play piano as a child in Clarkdale, Georgia, is known for his novelty songs like The Streak and Ahab the Arab, but also the earnest and Grammy-winning Everything is Beautiful.
He is an all-around entertainer who has worked as a TV personality, producer, session musician and songwriter. He currently still performs at his own dinner theater in Nashville, CabaRay.
Australian Associated Press