The Country Music Association presented the 2022 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees on Tuesday morning (May 17). Iconic country duo Brooks & Dunn revealed this year’s inductees during a live-streamed announcement. The inductees are music executive Joe Galante (Non-Performer Category), singer and pianist Jerry Lee Lewis (Veterans Era Artist), and singer-songwriter Keith Whitley (Modern Era Artist). “Election to the Country Music Hall of Fame is country music's highest honor, and new members are elected annually by an anonymous panel of industry leaders chosen by the Country Music Association (CMA),” according to the Hall of Fame.
“This year’s inductees are trailblazers who each paved their own unique path within Country Music,” Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer said in a statement. “Jerry Lee, Keith and Joe each found their musical callings early in life and displayed a strong-minded and fierce passion for music-making. In very different ways, they all have left a lasting impact on the industry and generations of fans alike. I am thrilled to welcome this deserving class into the Country Music Hall of Fame.”
Galante and Lewis both said that they were honored and humbled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. They will be honored during a formal Medallion Ceremony in October. Lorrie Morgan spoke on behalf of Whitley, her late husband. She said Whitley, who died in 1989, would “be absolutely blown away,” and “he deserves to be here.”
“KEITH WHITLEY NEWEST MEMBER OF THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME!!!!” Morgan gushed on Instagram following Tuesday’s announcement. “So proud Keith will finally be in the Hall along with Joe Galante and Jerry Lee Lewis. Congratulations to all the inductees!!”
The Country Music Hall of Fame introduced its new class of inductees:
“Joe Galante, one of country music’s most successful record executives, helped steer the careers of Alabama, Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, the Judds, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, and many other artists during his four decades in the record business. Jerry Lee Lewis, who began as an explosive rock & roll performer, later became a major country star, with a distinctive and dynamic style as a singer and pianist. Between 1968 and 1981, he had thirty-four Top Twenty country hits. Influential singer Keith Whitley helped define country music’s new traditionalist resurgence of the 1980s. In five years, he recorded a dozen Top Twenty solo country singles, including five consecutive #1 hits. His career was cut tragically short at age thirty-four.”
Watch the announcement here: