Tuesday morning, the Country Music Association announced at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum inductees: Keith Whitley, Joe Galante, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
The ceremony itself was hosted by the acclaimed country duo Brooks and Dunn.
Whitley, country music icon who passes in 1989, was inducted as a “Modern Era Artist”. The singer’s induction does not come as a surprise to anyone, given the widespread impact he has had on the country music scene.
Lorrie Morgan, Keith Whitley’s widow commented on the induction: “In my heart, this feels like an absolutely appropriate honor, but at the same time, I know that Keith would be painfully humbled, and even shy about accepting an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame… There were so many great artists he admired, even worshipped. To stand in their company in the Hall of Fame would’ve been overwhelmingly emotional for him.”
Galante—a famed music executive who played a large role in the careers of Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney, Waylon Jennings, and many more—was brought in as a ‘Non-Performer’. “When I heard the news I was being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, it was the first time in my entire career I was speechless,” Galante said. “I’m humbled, beyond honored and honestly, I’m still trying to wrap my head around this.”
To round out the trio, Lewis was inducted under the ‘Veterans Era Artist’ category.
“To be recognized by Country Music with their highest honor is a humbling experience. The little boy from Ferriday, LA listening to Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams never thought he’d be in a Hall amongst them,” Lewis cogitated. “I am appreciative of all those who have recognized that Jerry Lee Lewis music is Country Music and to our almighty God for his never-ending redeeming grace.”