“As a believer, I thank God for my gift. As an American, it’s just wonderful to celebrate anything, to show up and say thank you,” Wynonna said of the honor.

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Georgia must have been on the minds of the voters at the Country Music Hall of Fame, because the legendary Ray Charles has been selected to join that illustrious institution. Joining him in the Class of 2021, are iconic mother-daughter duo, The Judds, alongside drummer Eddie Bayers and pedal-steel player Pete Drake.

The happy announcement was made by Country Music Hall of Fame member Reba McEntire during a presentation on Monday. "It's about damn time," Wynonna Judd said in remarks after she and her mother, Naomi, heard their names announced as Modern Era artist inductees. The Judds signed their record deal in 1983 and set out to make history, racking up a whopping fourteen #1 hits, including "Mama He's Crazy," and "Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain." "As an artist, it's wonderful to be included in the family of country," Wynonna added in her remarks, per The Boot. "As a believer, I thank God for my gift. As an American, it's just wonderful to celebrate anything, to show up and say thank you."

In the Veteran Era artist category is Charles, a pioneering piano player who was enormously influential in country music thanks to his landmark 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. A frequent collaborator with country artists, such as Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson the velvet-voiced singer who lost his sight at the age of 7, Charles was a brilliant country crooner.  

This year there was a tie in the Recording and/or Touring Musician category, so both Eddie Bayers and Pete Drake are being inducted into the CMA. Bayers is one of the top studio drummers in the modern country era, ranked number one by the Academy of Country fourteen times. His work can be heard on Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs albums, and on songs by George Strait, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, and The Judds. Drake was a producer, studio owner, and pedal steel guitarist who not only contributed to country songs, but also work by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, George Harrison, and the one and only. Elvis Presley.

Congratulations to all the inductees!