From Carrie Underwood and Christian Kane to Lee Brice and Casey Donahew, country music acts from across the geographic and stylistic spectrum have cited Oklahoma music megastar Garth Brooks as an inspiration.
Now, the Tulsa native's influence and achievements are earning him a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Kix Brooks announced the members of the hall's 2012 inductee class at a private media event Tuesday in Nashville, Tenn. Brooks, 50, will be inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame's “Modern Era Artist” category, for which an artist becomes eligible 20 years after first achieving national prominence. Artists remain eligible for that category for the next 25 years.
“There's a room that the best days in your career stand in,” Brooks said in an email Tuesday to The Oklahoman through his publicist. “This honor will stand beside being inducted into the (Grand Ole) Opry, playing the 100th anniversary of Cheyenne (Frontier Days) with Chris LeDoux and getting to be part of Oklahoma's Centennial celebration.”
The hall's 2012 class also includes celebrated female vocalist Connie Smith, who will be inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category, and respected session musician Hargus “Pig” Robbins, who will join in the “Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980” group. Induction ceremonies will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville later this year.
Making the Hall
It will be the third time in two years Brooks, who was raised in Yukon, has joined a hall of fame. In 2011, the Owasso resident was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
“There are great artists and talents, and then there are Connie, ‘Pig,' and Garth,” said Steve Moore, Country Music Association chief executive officer, in a statement.
“Garth led modern country music to unbelievable heights of commercial success and pop culture relevance after bursting onto the scene as part of the now-legendary ‘Class of 1989.' These three artists are more than just performers … they are forces of nature who are deservedly entering the Country Music Hall of Fame.”