After an emotional introduction by longtime friend Brenda Lee, Randy Travis appeared alongside his wife, Mary Davis Travis, to share his appreciation for being chosen as this year’s “Modern Era Artist” inductee. The event marked one of Travis’ first public appearances since enduring an almost-deadly stroke in 2013. Although he was unable to recite a speech due to the lasting effects of the disease, he was still able to share a teary smile while voicing a heartfelt “thank you” for the life-changing honor.
Charlie Daniels was recognized as 2016’s “Veterans Era Artist” for his illustrious career that began all the way back in 1955 when he began performing in the rock band The Jaguars. He went on to pen hits for Elvis Presley before working as a session player in Nashville for musical heavyweights like Bob Dylan. In the 1970s, he became known for his now-classic southern rock-inspired anthems like “The South’s Gonna Do It Again” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
Fred Foster was selected as this year’s “Non-Performer” inductee for his achievements as a songwriter, producer and founder of Monument Records. He is credited with helping launch the careers of both Roy Orbison and Dolly Parton in the early 1960s, and went on to produce hit songs for Larry Gatlin, Grandpa Jones, Billy Joe Shaver and many others.
This year’s class of inductees will be the 56th group to be welcomed into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Each member will get their own bronze plaque, which will be placed inside the Rotunda inside the Hall of Fame, located in downtown Nashville. All three inductees will also be recognized during a special Medallion Ceremony at the Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater to be held later this year.