Sunday (May 1) was an emotional night as four new members of the country music family were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The annual Medallion Ceremony is a momentous occasion filled with much joy, but this year’s event felt heavy with the absence of Judds singer Naomi Judd, who died just one day prior to the event. It was the Judd family who decided the Medallion Ceremony should proceed as planned.
“We’re not gonna be sad today,” Ricky Skaggs announced before formally inducting the Judds into the Hall of Fame. Wynonna Judd was on hand to receive her medal, while her sister Ashley was on hand to accept their mother’s.
Medals were also awarded to the late Ray Charles, the late guitarist Pete Drake and drummer Eddie Bayers, who were also inducted as a part of this year’s class. Bayers was on hand to receive his award. Charles passed away in 2004, while Drake died in 1988.
In celebration of the night’s meaning, eleven artists sang songs featuring the inductees. Among the performances were Carly Pearce singing the Judds’ “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days).” Trisha Yearwood offered up “Walkaway Joe,” which features Bayers’ drums, and Garth Brooks brought Ray Charles’ “Seven Spanish Angels” to the stage.
Other performing artists included the War and Treaty, Wendy Moten, Vince Gill, Bettye LaVette, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings and Marty Stuart. Before closing out the night with the Carter Family’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” Stuart remarked, “Country music’s broad shoulders and even bigger heart were showcased here tonight.”
Class of 2021 Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony
Ray Charles, the Judds, Eddie Bayers and Pete Drake were nominated into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 1, 2022. Here are pictures from the ceremony and red carpet.