The spotlight shined bright on the bluegrass Friday evening as eight of Kentucky’s finest musicians and music professionals were inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame during the 2015 Induction Ceremony at Lexington, Kentucky’s Lexington Center, Bluegrass Ballroom. Pop icons Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys, artist manager Clarence Spalding, folk music legend Doc Hopkins, country-bluegrass singer/songwriter Larry Cordle, country music duo Montgomery Gentry, comedian Pete Stamper and pioneering R&B group, The Moonglows, officially joined the 47 previously-inducted members of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame to be eternally recognized for their contributions to music in the bluegrass state and around the globe.
Highlights of the night’s event included an emotional tribute to the late Doc Hopkins by his nephew, Kenneth Hopkins, 94, who sang “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” after accepting the award on Doc’s behalf; a laughter-filled acceptance speech from Pete Stamper which garnered a standing ovation; a high-energy set fueled by hometown pride by country duo Montgomery Gentry; and bluegrass-infused renditions of “I Want It That Way,” and “Larger Than Life” from Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell alongside Josh Turner and Carson McKee. The two college students were surprised with the invitation to sing alongside Richardson and Littrell at the 2015 Induction Ceremony after Richardson discovered their stand-out covers on YouTube.
“When people hear the Backstreet Boys, most people probably don’t equate us with Kentucky, or Kentucky music, but two thirds of the Backstreet Boys are strongly [voice breaking], deeply rooted in Kentucky. We are singers, first and foremost, and we are Kentuckians,” said Richardson. “Just to grace the stage tonight with the people who have accepted these awards… I hope that we do you proud with our performance,” added Littrell. “We want to thank the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame for giving us the honor of becoming part of this family tonight,” said Richardson.
Kentucky, which is known as the “Bluegrass State” is rich in its musical heritage across all genres including pop, rock, country, gospel, folk, jazz and more. Since its founding in 2002, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame has inducted 56 of Kentucky’s most notable musicians including Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, The Judd’s, Dwight Yoakam, Crystal Gayle, Molly O’ Day, Exile, The Kentucky Headhunters and Steven Curtis Chapman, to name a few. For more information on the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, please visit www.kentuckymusicmuseum.com.
About Montgomery Gentry: With over 20 plus charted singles, the Kentucky-born duo is preparing to celebrate a major career milestone as Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry will be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame on April 10. With over 20 plus charted singles, the Kentucky-born duo just celebrated a major career milestone as Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry were recently inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. On June 9, the pair will release their eighth studio album and first with label partner Blaster Records. Montgomery Gentry has earned countless CMA, ACM, and GRAMMY awards and nominations with undeniable blue collar anthems like “Hell Yeah,” “My Town,” and “Hillbilly Shoes.” They’ve notched five #1 singles (“If You Ever Stop Loving Me,” “Something To Be Proud Of,” “Lucky Man,” “Back When I Knew It All” and “Roll With Me”) and will soon celebrate their sixth anniversary as Grand Ole Opry member.
In addition to Troy and Eddie’s web site, visit their Facebook page, and be sure to “Like” it while you are there! Check out their YouTube channel, too. And, they have a Twitter account, so follow them @mgunderground. If you aren’t already following Country’s Chatter on twitter, we’d love to have you. You will find us @countryschatter.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend! We’ll be back with more soon!