CMA Announces Toby Keith, James Burton, and John Anderson to Hall of Fame Class of 2024

photo courtesy of CMA

The Country Music Association gathered at the prestigious Hall of Fame Rotunda at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum this week to reveal the 2024 inductees: James Burton, John Anderson, and Toby Keith.

Burton will be inducted in the Recording and/or Touring Musician category, which is awarded every third year in rotation with Songwriter and Non-Performer categories. Anderson will be inducted in the Veterans Era Artist category and Keith will be inducted in the Modern Era Artist category.

Country Music Hall of Fame members Brooks & Dunn hosted the press conference to announce the news, which was also streamed live on CMA’s YouTube channel.

“This year’s nominees exemplify the excellence of our genre,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “James, John and Toby have each made an indelible impact and brought their distinctive contributions to Country Music, enriching our format. Their influence is evident throughout the longevity of their careers, ensuring each legacy will thrive indefinitely. It is with great pride that we welcome these three remarkable individuals into the esteemed ranks of the Country Music Hall of Fame.”

“How did I find out about this amazing award? Well, I was on the phone with Keith Urban and I kind of felt that Keith was beating around the bush a bit and small talking me,” says Burton. “He then stated that he was going to hand the phone to a young lady for a minute. I thought it was a friend of Keith’s that just wanted to say hi or talk guitars. Instead, she [Sarah Trahern] introduced herself and simply said ‘Mr. Burton, you’ve been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.’ I was completely shocked and couldn’t think of anything to say. All I remember was that my wife Louise started crying, I kept thinking that this couldn’t be real. In fact, when we hung up the call, I redialed the caller’s number just to make sure it wasn’t a prank phone call! I am so humbled and excited to be recognized in this way. So much of my career was spent playing for incredible Country artists and to now be going up on that wall with all those innovators and industry greats is just incredible.”

“After several days, I am still trying to grasp the reality of being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame,” says Anderson. “It is one of the greatest honors I could ever receive. My love and heartfelt gratitude goes out to the fans who have supported me through the years, everyone at the Country Music Hall of Fame and all of those who made this possible. I am proud and honored beyond words.”

“Toby’s passing left our hearts broken,” says the Covel family. “We miss him so much, but we take comfort that his music and legacy will live forever. Thank you, Country Music Hall of Fame, for helping keep it alive.”

“Each of the three new inductees has left a deep and distinctive stamp on our genre,” says Kyle Young, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Chief Executive Officer. “Florida native John Anderson helped steer Country Music back to its traditions with his bold honky-tonk style. James Burton, who hails from Louisiana, blended Country and blues to create a fiery picking style that distinguished countless hits and has inspired guitarists the world over. Toby Keith from Oklahoma brought a sly swagger and a patriotic passion to songs that made him one of the best-selling Country artists of the past 30 years. They have all profoundly shaped our music, and we are honored and delighted that their achievements will now forever be enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame.”

A formal induction ceremony for Burton, Anderson and Keith will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater this October. The Museum’s Medallion Ceremony, a reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, is the official rite of induction for new members.

All balloting is tabulated by the professional services organization, Deloitte. The Final Ballot for the 2024 Country Music Hall of Fame closed Friday, Feb. 2.

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