The Judds, Ray Charles join the Country Music Hall of Fame

  • Wynonna Judd blows a kiss to attendees during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Wynonna Judd blows a kiss to attendees during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Wynonna Judd, right, hugs sister Ashley Judd during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall Of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Wynonna Judd, right, hugs sister Ashley Judd during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall Of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Wynonna Judd pauses as she speaks during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Wynonna Judd pauses as she speaks during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Wynonna Judd looks to the sky during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Wynonna Judd looks to the sky during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Ashley Judd, right, hugs sister Wynonna Judd during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall Of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Ashley Judd, right, hugs sister Wynonna Judd during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall Of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Wynonna Judd, right, shows her medallion to sister Ashley Judd during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Wynonna Judd, right, shows her medallion to sister Ashley Judd during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Wynonna Judd, left, looks to the sky as sister Ashley Judd watches during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall Of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Wynonna Judd, left, looks to the sky as sister Ashley Judd watches during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall Of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • A photograph of Naomi Judd lays with a rose outside the Country Music Hall of Fame before the medallion ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    A photograph of Naomi Judd lays with a rose outside the Country Music Hall of Fame before the medallion ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Ashley Judd, left, cries as she speaks as sister Wynonna Judd watches during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Ashley Judd, left, cries as she speaks as sister Wynonna Judd watches during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • FILE - Naomi Judd, left, and Wynonna Judd, of The Judds, perform at the "Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country," in Las Vegas, April 4, 2011. Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born matriarch of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died, her family announced Saturday, April 30, 2022. She was 76.

    FILE - Naomi Judd, left, and Wynonna Judd, of The Judds, perform at the "Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country," in Las Vegas, April 4, 2011. Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born matriarch of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died, her family announced Saturday, April 30, 2022. She was 76. Associated Press

  • Wynonna Judd, second from the right, stands next to the Judds' induction plaque as sister Ashley Judd, left, Ricky Skaggs, and MC Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum look on during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Wynonna Judd, second from the right, stands next to the Judds' induction plaque as sister Ashley Judd, left, Ricky Skaggs, and MC Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum look on during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • FILE - Wynonna Judd, left, and her mother, Naomi Judd, of The Judds, perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta on Jan. 30, 1994. Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born matriarch of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died, her family announced Saturday, April 30, 2022. She was 76.

    FILE - Wynonna Judd, left, and her mother, Naomi Judd, of The Judds, perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta on Jan. 30, 1994. Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born matriarch of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died, her family announced Saturday, April 30, 2022. She was 76. Associated Press

  • FILE - Ray Charles sings "America The Beautiful," in the rain at Fenway Park in Boston, April 11, 2003. Charles will be posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn., along with The Judds. The ceremony will continue despite the death Saturday of Naomi Judd, who performed with daughter Wynonna as The Judds.

    FILE - Ray Charles sings "America The Beautiful," in the rain at Fenway Park in Boston, April 11, 2003. Charles will be posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn., along with The Judds. The ceremony will continue despite the death Saturday of Naomi Judd, who performed with daughter Wynonna as The Judds. Associated Press

  • Ricky Skaggs presents Wynonna Judd with her medallion during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame as sister Ashley Judd, left, looks on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Ricky Skaggs presents Wynonna Judd with her medallion during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame as sister Ashley Judd, left, looks on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Wynonna Judd, second from the right, touches the plaque as sister Ashley Judd, left, Ricky Skaggs, and MC Kyle Young CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum look on during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Wynonna Judd, second from the right, touches the plaque as sister Ashley Judd, left, Ricky Skaggs, and MC Kyle Young CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum look on during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Ricky Skaggs presents Ashley Judd the medallion that would have been given to her mother Naomi Judd, who died unexpectedly a day earlier, during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Ricky Skaggs presents Ashley Judd the medallion that would have been given to her mother Naomi Judd, who died unexpectedly a day earlier, during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Ricky Skaggs presents Ashley Judd the medallion that would have been given to her mother Naomi Judd, who died unexpectedly a day earlier, during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Ricky Skaggs presents Ashley Judd the medallion that would have been given to her mother Naomi Judd, who died unexpectedly a day earlier, during the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Wynonna Judd is seen before the Country Music Hall of Fame medallion ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Wynonna Judd is seen before the Country Music Hall of Fame medallion ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Flowers lay on a plaque across from the Country Music Hall of Fame before a medallion ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Flowers lay on a plaque across from the Country Music Hall of Fame before a medallion ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Marty Stuart performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Marty Stuart performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Ronnie Milsap speaks during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Ronnie Milsap speaks during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Vince Gill performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Vince Gill performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Gillian Welch, right, and David Rawlings perform during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Gillian Welch, right, and David Rawlings perform during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount of War and Treaty perform during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount of War and Treaty perform during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Tommy Sims performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Tommy Sims performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Garth Brooks performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Garth Brooks performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Garth Brooks performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Garth Brooks performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Carly Pearce performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

    Carly Pearce performs during the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP) Associated Press

 
 
Posted5/2/2022 7:00 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ray Charles and The Judds joined the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday in a ceremony filled with tears, music and laughter, just a day after Naomi Judd died unexpectedly.

The loss of Naomi Judd altered the normally celebratory ceremony, but the music played on, as the genre's singers and musicians mourned the country legend while also celebrating the four inductees: The Judds, Ray Charles, Eddie Bayers and Pete Drake. Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill and many more performed their hit songs.

 

Naomi and Wynonna Judd were among the most popular duos of the 1980s, scoring 14 No. 1 hits during their nearly three-decade career. On the eve of her induction, the family said in a statement to The Associated Press that Naomi Judd died at the age of 76 due to 'the disease of mental illness.'

Daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd accepted the induction amid tears, holding onto each other and reciting a Bible verse together.

'I'm sorry that she couldn't hang on until today,' Ashley Judd said of her mother to the crowd while crying. Wynonna Judd talked about the family gathering as they said goodbye to her and she and Ashley Judd recited Psalm 23.

"Though my heart is broken I will continue to sing,' Wynonna Judd said.

Fans gathered outside the museum, drawn to a white floral bouquet outside the entrance and a small framed photo of Naomi Judd below. A single rose was laid on the ground.

Charles' induction showcased his genre-defying country releases, which demonstrated country music's commercial appeal. The Georgia-born singer and piano player grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry and in 1962 released 'Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music,' which became one of the best selling country releases of his era.

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Blinded and orphaned at a young age, Charles is best known for R&B, gospel and soul, but his decision to record country music changed the way the world thought about the genre, expanding audiences in the Civil Rights era.

Charles' version of 'I Can't Stop Loving You,' spent five weeks on top of the Billboard 100 chart and remains one of his most popular songs. He died in 2004.

Brooks sang 'Seven Spanish Angels,' one of Charles' hits with Willie Nelson, while Bettye LaVette performed 'I Can't Stop Loving You.'

Country Music Hall of Famer Ronnie Milsap said he met Charles when he was a young singer and that others tried to imitate Charles, but no one could measure up.

'There was one of him and only one,' said Milsap. 'He sang country music like it should be sung."

Charles is only the third Black artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, alongside Opry pioneer DeFord Bailey and Charley Pride.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

'Mr. Charles always stood his ground for what he loved,' said Valerie Ervin, president of the Ray Charles Foundation. 'And country music was what he truly, truly loved.'


The Hall of Fame also inducted two recordings musicians who were elemental to so many country songs and singers: Eddie Bayers and Pete Drake.

Bayers, a drummer in Nashville for decades who worked on 300 platinum records, is a member of the Grand Ole Opry band. He regularly played on records for The Judds, Ricky Skaggs, George Strait, Alan Jackson'and Kenny Chesney. He is the first drummer to join the institution.

Drake, who died in 1988, was a pedal steel guitar player and a member of Nashville's A-team of skilled session musicians, played on hits like 'Stand By Your Man' by Tammy Wynette and 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' by George Jones. He is the first pedal steel guitar player to become part of the Hall of Fame.

Drake is known for creating the talk box, a technology that allowed him to vocalize through his pedal steel guitar. It was later popularly adopted by artists like Peter Frampton and many others.

His wife, Rose, said that musicians like her husband deserved a place in musical history.

'The musicians of the '60s, '70s. and '80s created Nashville as Music City and we can't let that get away,' Rose Drake said.

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Online: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/

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Follow Kristin M. Hall at https://twitter.com/kmhall

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