Entertainment, On A High Note

Country Music Hall of Fame Class of 2019: Brooks & Dunn, Ray Stevens and Jerry Bradley

Photo by Donn Jones/CMA

History-making duo Brooks & Dunn, legendary songwriter and producer Ray Stevens and record executive Jerry Bradley have been announced as the 2019 inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In his introduction of the new members, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young noted, “This year’s class of inductees includes a visionary executive, a remarkable songwriter, producer, performer and publisher, and the most successful country music duo in history.” Each inductee certainly brings outstanding credentials to this year’s Hall of Fame class.

Bradley served as head of RCA Records from 1973-1982. During his time there, he signed super group Alabama and oversaw the creation of the groundbreaking album, “Wanted! The Outlaws,” featuring Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Under Bradley’s guidance, such stars as Dolly Parton, Ronnie Milsap and Jerry Reed achieved pop crossover success. Bradley also produced records for Charley Pride, Dottie West and many others.

Stevens has definitely done it all during his 50-plus years in the music business. His comedy recordings of “Ahab the Arab,” “The Streak” and others found fame in multiple genres of music. But the accomplished pianist could also turn serious with songs like “Everything Is Beautiful” and his bluegrass-jazz rendition of “Misty.” Stevens was also a sought-after studio musician and eventually became one of the most successful song publishers on Music Row. He made breakthroughs in the home video market with his 1992 video compilation, “Comedy Video Classics,” which sold millions of copies. In 2018, Stevens added to his business interests as he opened his musical theater, the CabaRay Showroom, in Nashville.

Brooks & Dunn are the most successful duo in country music history. Photo by Donn Jones/CMA

Brooks & Dunn, the duo of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, have scored more than 40 Top 10 singles, 20 No. 1 hits and 12 million-selling albums. As such, they rank as the most successful country music duo in history, as well as one of the best-selling duos in any genre of music. They won the CMA Vocal Duo of the Year award every year from 1992-1999, and again from 2001-2006. Brooks & Dunn also took home the CMA Entertainer of the Year award in 1996.

Brooks & Dunn were an immediate smash with fans as their first four singles topped the charts, starting with “Brand New Man” and on to “My Next Broken Heart, “Neon Moon” and “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.” The duo dissolved for a time but returned in 2014 with a series of shows, alongside Reba McEntire, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. In April, Brooks & Dunn will release their album “Reboot,” featuring collaborations with such stars as Kacey Musgraves, Jon Pardi and Thomas Rhett.

Brooks & Dunn, Stevens and Bradley will be officially welcomed to the prestigious Hall of Fame at the annual Medallion Ceremony later this year.