2022 Country Music Hall of Fame honours Ray Charles, The Judds, others

The 2022 edition of the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Medallion Ceremony honoured iconic Black country-adoring musician Ray Charles, The Judds, and groundbreaking session musicians guitarist Pete Drake and drummer Eddie Bayers.

“We’re not gonna be sad today,” declared Hall of Fame member Ricky Skaggs upon inducting fellow Kentuckians Naomi and Wynonna Judd into the Hall. 

His remarks, USA Today reports, were in reference to the death, just one day prior, of Naomi, aged 76, of causes attributed to mental illness.

The decision to still hold the Medallion Ceremony in the wake of the tragedy was the choice of the Judd family. 

Before Skaggs’ speech, Kyle Young, the CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, said the Judds were synonymous with the Carter, Delmore and Everly siblings in country music history. He then added that the duo “sang their hearts out loud and lived their lives out loud” while also “(singing) on harmony even when they didn’t live in harmony.”

Artistes including Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, blues legend Bettye Lavette, plus Gillian Welch and David Rawlings offered renditions of classic country anthems featuring the new inductees. Also, Marty Stuart closed the event with a rousing sing-a-long take of the Carter Family’s century-old anthem, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”

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