Music legend Jerry Lee Lewis has influenced multiple generations of country artists. But he still hasn’t been recognized by the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Many may see Lewis as a pure rock and roll artist, thanks to his early hits like “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Going On.” But his career soon plummeted when he married his 13-year-old first cousin when he was 23. After nearly a decade, he once again earned hits during the late 1960s and early 70s. But this time, he found success on the country charts.
Although the 81-year-old was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame back in 1986, Lewis still hasn’t been recognized by the Country Music Hall of Fame. A public petition for his induction has been circulating, and Lewis says he’s just not sure why things haven’t progressed further.
“I don’t know why I am not in it,” Lewis told Billboard. “I mean, they got it stirred up and talking about it. I don’t know why they don’t put me in it, I don’t understand that.”
Last week, Lewis’ career was celebrated with a star-studded tribute concert produced by Skyville Live. Many in attendance, including performers Toby Keith and Lee Ann Womack, said they supported the efforts to induct Lewis. But the final decision lies with the members of the Hall of Fame. It’s currently unclear if they plan on adding him to the club any time soon.