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10 Legendary Acts That Aren't in the Country Music Hall of Fame

These 10 acts deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame's rotunda.

Ever since its inaugural class in 1961, the Country Music Hall of Fame has remained an exclusive club for tippy-top performers, songwriters and influencers. Though 2023's three-member class grew the total number of inductions to 152, a long list of legends, from early influencers to some of the most impactful stars of the past 40 years, remain on the outside looking in.

The backlog of candidates is a result of the limited number of new inductees each year. Anonymous CMA member voters select just one new Hall of Famer apiece out of three categories— though occasionally, there's a tie, as happened in 2021 when both steel guitarist Pete Drake and drummer Eddie Bayers got in as a Recording and/or Touring Musician. Most halls of fame induct way more members in one fell swoop, with Dolly Parton being among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 14-member class of 2022. Thus, the extremely long waits for such recent Country Music Hall of Famers as The Judds, Keith Whitley, Tanya Tucker and Hank Williams Jr.

The following list only considers Veterans Era (acts with 40 or more years of mainstream exposure) and Modern Era (acts with 20 or more years of mainstream exposure) candidates. There's three revolving categories we skip: Recording and/or Touring Musician, Songwriter and Non-Performer. Each of the latter three categories could make for a separate list, considering the worthy musicians (Ralph Mooney), wordsmiths (Dallas Frazier) and behind-the-scenes figures (Grand Ole Opry photographer Les Leverett) yet to be enshrined.

Read on for 10 Hall of Fame snubs that CMA voters should consider correcting in the coming years.

Editor's Note: This story was previously published on July 19, 2022.

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