Skaggs, Gimble, West officially join Country Music Hall of Fame

Monday, October 22, 2018 – Ricky Skaggs, Johnny Gimble and Dottie West were formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday.

At the official Medallion Ceremony held at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame member Garth Brooks, through tear-filled eyes, formally inducted Skaggs.

"It's kinda hard to believe that this day has really come," said Skaggs. "To hear someone say, 'The newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame' are some of the greatest words you could ever hear this side of Heaven! I'm so grateful to be inducted into this revered Hall among these highly honored and most beloved people. It's beyond humbling."

Several took the stage to honor Skaggs following his induction. Brooks with Larry Cordle and Sierra Hull saluted Skaggs with "Highway 40 Blues," Dierks Bentley crooned through "You've Got a Lover," and Chris Stapleton brought his distinct vocals, wailing through "The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn."

Skaggs was inducted into the "Modern Era Artist" category, along with the late West in the "Veterans Era Artist" category and the late Gimble in the "Recording and/or Touring Musician" category.

"Many of the fathers and mothers that are in this Hall literally built country music from the ground up," Skaggs said. "They were 'Working on a Building,' and they built well. Their incredible talent, hard work, and love for this wonderful music has laid a deep and solid foundation that generations will stand on. I'm so thankful for their tremendous contributions. People like me could have never become a member without their sacrifice. They showed us the way, they made the music, and we followed the sound."

After being presented with his medallion, Skaggs was asked to take off his medallion as not to scratch the instrument he was about to be asked to play. The Hall then offered Skaggs the honor of playing the instrument of his hero, Bill Monroe. This famed Gibson F-5 mandolin, which rests behind glass in the museum, was played by Skaggs when he was just six years old in the presence of Monroe himself. Skaggs took the instrument from one of the museum's curators and lead the audience in the traditional singing of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." With help from Brooks and the Medallion All-Star Band, Skaggs gave a rousing, emotional performance to conclude this historic and momentous ceremony.

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