The newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame will be songwriter Dean Dillon, Marty Stuart, and Hank Williams Jr. The surprise announcement was revealed early on Wednesday morning.
Dillon’s writing credits include classics such as George Strait’s “The Chair,” “Ocean Front Property,” and “Unwound,” as well as Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey.” In addition to credentials as a musician and his multiple Top 10 hits in the 1990s, Stuart is one of the genre’s most avid collectors and archivists.
Williams — known to millions simply as Hank Jr. — is instantly identifiable to even the most casual country listener, known for honky-tonk standards such as “Family Tradition” and “A Country Boy Can Survive,” among many others. His father, Hank Williams, posthumously entered the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961, its inaugural year.
An email announcement describes the induction process this way:
The Country Music Hall of Fame accolade was created by the Country Music Association (CMA), the country music industry’s trade organization, to recognize significant contributions to the advancement of country music in both the creative and business communities. Election to the Hall of Fame is solely the prerogative of the CMA.
Through an agreement with the CMA, the role of the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is to exhibit the bronze likenesses of the members of the Hall of Fame in a space and fashion befitting the honor. New members, elected annually by a panel of industry executives chosen by the CMA, are inducted formally during the Medallion Ceremony, part of the annual reunion of Country Music Hall of Fame members hosted by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
On that celebrated and private occasion, members of that august body join the members-elect, their families, friends, and business associates to welcome the new class of honorees into their midst. Each new member-elect is inducted by a fellow Hall of Fame member, who presents them with a commemorative medallion to be worn at each subsequent reunion of the membership.