Kathi Yeager

Kathi Yeager

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Toby Keith Revealed Among 2024 Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductees

Photo: Getty Images

Toby Keith will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum this fall, alongside two other legendary musicians.

Brooks & Dunn revealed the 2024 Class of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum inductees in a live-streamed announcement on Monday morning (March 18) in the Hall of Fame Rotunda Downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Keith will be honored in the Modern Era Artist category, along with James Burton in the rotating Recording and/or Touring Musician category and John Anderson in the Veterans Era Artist category. 

“This year’s nominees exemplify the excellence of our genre,” Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. “James, John and Toby have each made an indelible impact and brought their distinctive contributions to Country Music, enriching our format. Their influence is evident throughout the longevity of their careers, ensuring each legacy will thrive indefinitely. It is with great pride that we welcome these three remarkable individuals into the esteemed ranks of the Country Music Hall of Fame.” 

Trahern noted that although it wouldn’t be typical to induct an artist the year they died, that doesn’t apply to Keith because he was selected before his death last month. A statement shared to Keith’s social media pages the early morning hours of Tuesday, February 6 read that the Oklahoma-born country star “passed peacefully last night on Feb. 5 surrounded by his family. He fought his fight with grace and courage. Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.” Trahern said it was that morning, February 6, that it was confirmed that Keith had been elected into the Hall of Fame after a months-long process.

The final ballot closed on Friday, February 2. All balloting was tabulated by Deloitte, a professional services organization, according to a press release issued by the Country Music Associaion on Monday.

Keith’s son, Stelen Keith Covel, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the family during the live-streamed announcement on Monday morning. Covel previously remembered his father as “the strongest man I have ever known. A fighter. A true titan of your industry. My guiding star. My coach. My hero. An embodiment of the American Spirit,” he wrote in a heartfelt tribute. The family said in a statement that “Toby’s passing left our hearts broken. We miss him so much, but we take comfort that his music and legacy will live forever. Thank you, Country Music Hall of Fame, for helping keep it alive.”

2024 Country Music Hall Of Fame Induction Announcement

Photo: Getty Images North America

On Monday morning, Burton and Anderson attended the announcement event in Downtown Nashville, and expressed their gratitude to be honored in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“How did I find out about this amazing award? Well, I was on the phone with Keith Urban and I kind of felt that Keith was beating around the bush a bit and small talking me,” Burton said in a statement. “He then stated that he was going to hand the phone to a young lady for a minute. I thought it was a friend of Keith’s that just wanted to say hi or talk guitars. Instead, she [Sarah Trahern] introduced herself and simply said ‘Mr. Burton, you’ve been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.’ I was completely shocked and couldn’t think of anything to say. All I remember was that my wife Louise started crying, I kept thinking that this couldn’t be real. In fact, when we hung up the call, I redialed the caller’s number just to make sure it wasn’t a prank phone call! I am so humbled and excited to be recognized in this way. So much of my career was spent playing for incredible Country artists and to now be going up on that wall with all those innovators and industry greats is just incredible.”   

"After several days, I am still trying to grasp the reality of being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame,” Anderson said of his own induction news. “It is one of the greatest honors I could ever receive. My love and heartfelt gratitude goes out to the fans who have supported me through the years, everyone at the Country Music Hall of Fame and all of those who made this possible. I am proud and honored beyond words.” 

The formal induction ceremony for Burton, Anderson and Keith will be held in the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum this October. The date has not been announced as of publication time on Monday morning.

“Each of the three new inductees has left a deep and distinctive stamp on our genre,” Kyle Young, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. “Florida native John Anderson helped steer Country Music back to its traditions with his bold honky-tonk style. James Burton, who hails from Louisiana, blended Country and blues to create a fiery picking style that distinguished countless hits and has inspired guitarists the world over. Toby Keith from Oklahoma brought a sly swagger and a patriotic passion to songs that made him one of the best-selling Country artists of the past 30 years. They have all profoundly shaped our music, and we are honored and delighted that their achievements will now forever be enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame.”  

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