Every year, the Hall of Fame inducts three artists from three different categories: Recording and/or Touring Musician active prior to 1980, Veterans Era, who is eligible for induction 40 years after first achieving national prominence, and Modern Era, who is eligible 20 years after reaching national prominence.
Johnny Gimble will be inducted as the Recording and/or Touring Musician, while Dottie West will be inducted as the Veterans Era artist. Both Brooks and Yearwood got emotional while describing each of their legendary careers, but no one got the “Thunder Rolls” singer more choked up than the third and final inductee.
Telling the story of how the inductee almost single-handedly saved Bluegrass music when the father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, was nearing the end of his life by forming a record label dedicated to keeping that genre of music alive, it moved everyone in the audience.
Brooks told the audience about the inductee’s accolades including 8 CMA Awards, 15 Grammy Awards, and 13 International Bluegrass Awards, as well as his many collaborations from Flatt & Scruggs to Bruce Hornsby to Keith Urban.
Through tears, Brooks said, “I cannot tell you how big of an honor it is, and a pleasure, to introduce the newest inductee to the Modern Era Artist category of Country Music Hall of Fame, Ricky Skaggs.”
Brooks and Skaggs shared a sweet embrace after the announcement as the audience gave him a standing ovation. Watch the emotional moment in the video below, which begins around the 1 hour mark.