Reba McEntire, Jean Shepard and songwriter Bobby Braddock have been selected as the newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Kix Brooks made the announcement during a Tuesday morning (March 1) press conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. The three will be formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during a medallion ceremony later this year.

McEntire, elected in the modern era artist category, was unable to attend the press conference. She was in Tulsa, Okla., where her father is hospitalized. "I'm so appreciative of being selected as one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. ... It's a wonderful honor during a very emotional time of my life. I'm so sorry I couldn't be with all of you this morning to get to visit and reminisce about all the fun times we've had being a part of the country.

Shepard, a key player in developing the role of females in the country music industry, will be inducted in the veterans era artist category. An Oklahoma native, she scored her first No. 1 single in 1953 with "A Dear John Letter," a duet with future Country Music Hall of Fame member Ferlin Husky. As an artist on Capitol Records, her other Top 10 hits during the 1950s and 1960s include "Second Fiddle (To an Old Guitar)," "A Satisfied Mind" and "Beautiful Lies." She has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1955.

Braddock, a native of Florida, is the first inductee named in the newly-created songwriters category. The previous songwriter inductees -- Cindy Walker, Harlan Howard and the duo of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant -- were included in the nonperformer category. One of the most prolific and successful songwriters in the history of Nashville, Braddock's credits include George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today," Tammy Wynette's "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," Toby Keith's "I Wanna Talk About Me," Billy Currington's "People Are Crazy" and Tracy Lawrence's "Texas Tornado" and "Time Marches On."

"Are you sure?" Braddock said of his selection to the Hall of Fame. "Is this for certain? ... I'm still just wondering if someone's made a mistake. We songwriters are used to being low profile and traveling underneath the radar and not used to all this excitement."

Kix Brooks At 2011 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Announcement

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