Jerry Lee Lewis, 'Too Ill' For HoF Induction, Honored By Kris Kristofferson

Jerry Lee Lewis was “too ill with the flu” to attend the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony, during which he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.

Instead, Lewis’ longtime friend and fellow music legend Kris Kristofferson accepted the medallion on Lewis’ behalf. Kristofferson and his wife then traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, where they delivered the honor to Lewis in person. Lewis, who was bedridden, shared a photo of the moment he received his medal from Kristofferson. His team wrote in a heartfelt caption on Instagram:

“On Sunday, Jerry Lee Lewis was finally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The legendary Jerry Lee was too ill with the flu to attend the ceremony. His longtime dear friend [Kris Kristofferson] accepted in his honor from [Hank Williams Jr.] and Kris and his wife Lisa were nice enough to drive down to Memphis and present it to Jerry Lee in person. We love you, Kris, thank you so much - and major thanks to all the millions of fans who supported this effort, fellow Hall of Famers and artists, [Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum] and staff and [Country Music Association] for honoring him.”

Skyville Live Honors Jerry Lee Lewis With Live Concert Stream

Photo: Getty Images

Lewis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday (October 16), along with executive Joe Galante and late country hitmaker Keith Whitley. Galante, Whitley and Lewis became the 147th, 148th and 149th members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. The star-studded ceremony included heartfelt performances by Alabama, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, Lee Ann Womack and more. Lewis shared a statement, which Williams read at the ceremony. Here’s what Lewis wrote (and his team promised “more on this soon”):

“Dear friends and fans in Nashville, It is with heartfelt sadness and disappointment that I write to you today from my sick bed, rather than be able to share my thoughts in person. I tried everything I could to build up the strength to come today - I've looked so forward to it since I found out about it earlier this year. My sincerest apologies to all of you for missing this fine event, but I hope to see you all soon. To be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame is the highest honor in Country music. Through over 60 years singing music professionally, country has always been the genre where I felt the most at home - between my fellow artists, the radio and the industry players -- some of them anyway. I am honored to be going into that Hall of Fame rotunda with some of my heroes - Hank Williams Sr., Jimmie Rodgers and the like - not to mention so many amazing friends who have been so good to me through the years. Thank you all for your support and love and for electing me into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and most of all, thanks to God for allowing me to experience this honor while I am still here. Since I could not be in-person with you today, I have asked one of my closest and dearest friends to accept this great honor for me - and he's no stranger to this process: the legendary, Kris Kristofferson.”

Kristofferson's team also shared a tribute to Lewis after the two music legends visited one another. Sharing a photo of Kristofferson and Lewis in 2017, the tribute said that “it was an incredible moment for both of these two long-time friends,” per Kristofferson’s wife, Lisa.

See Lewis’ post here: