Country Music Hall of Fame members Brenda Lee and Chet Atkins joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Monday night (March 18) during the 17th annual induction ceremony at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
Pop star Jewel presided over Lee’s induction. “I feel like Cinderella at the ball,” Lee said. “It is a long way from the Georgia cotton field to the Waldorf-Astoria.” She also said that her 1959-60 hit, “Sweet Nothin’s” propelled her to rock [stardom] and 1960’s “I’m Sorry” propelled her to pop [stardom] in a male-dominated industry.
Lee recently published her autobiography, Little Miss Dynamite: The Life and Times of Brenda Lee. She is the first woman to be a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Lee performed a three-song medley that included “I’m Sorry.”
Marty Stuart and rockabilly/swing guitarist Brian Setzer presided over Atkins’ posthumous induction in the side-men category, which recognizes performers who have made major contributions to rock ’n’ roll while backing other artists. Atkins — who played on recordings by Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers and Mark Knopfler –- died in June at age 77.
An edited version of Monday night’s ceremony will air at 9 p.m. ET/PT Wednesday (March 20) on VH1.