Garth Brooks is among the newest members of Country Music Hall, and he will be inducted in "Modern Era Artist" category. According to his wife Trisha Yearwood, the "Midnight Sun" crooner was in tears after receiving the call from people at Country Music Association about the honor a few weeks ago.
In a statement following the official announcement on Tuesday, March 6, Brooks graciously said, "I am astounded and honored to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame." He additionally noted, "At the same time, I can't help but feel guilty going in when there are so many deserving artists that came before me who are yet to be inducted."
He said his induction might be "premature" because he thought there were a long list of others who should also get the honor but hadn't. "It's kind of odd to be in this room," he explained. "You want to be mentioned in the same breath with George Strait and Reba McEntire ... those are the two heroes I grew up with."
"You feel uneasy because I wouldn't be standing here today talking to you if it wasn't for Randy Travis. I wouldn't be standing here talking to you today if it wasn't for Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Steve Wariner, these guys. ... I think eventually they will get in, but it probably should've been before Garth Brooks came in. That's the whole feeling for the day."
Brooks is joining Hargus "Pig" Robbins and Connie Smith in the class of 2012. While he's going to be inducted in the "Modern Era Artist" category, his two "classmates" will be inducted in the categories of "Veterans Era Artist" and "Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980" respectively.
"I just couldn't believe it the other day when Steve Moore called and informed me that I had been chosen to become one of the new members of the Country Music Hall of Fame," said Robbins. "All I could say was 'thank you, thank you, thank you!' Well, I have always considered myself lucky, and I guess my good luck has struck again. I am so honored to be named one of the new members."
In the same tone, Smith stated, "I've had the privilege of participating in several Hall of Fame inductions. They were all very special. But now to become a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame myself is an honor for me and my family. So touching, it's difficult to find the words to express my gratitude."
The induction of Brooks, Robbins and Smith will be conducted in a ceremony later this year at the Hall of Fame's Ford Theater in Nashville. The addition of those three country music veterans increases membership in the Hall from 115 to 118 inductees.