Garth Brooks headed to Country Music Hall of Fame

Tue Mar 6, 2012 1:37pm EST
 
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE (Reuters) - The Country Music Association on Tuesday named three stars for induction into its Hall of Fame including superstar Garth Brooks and veterans Connie Smith and Hargus "Pig" Robbins.

Brooks, who has sold more than 128 million albums worldwide in his career, became a superstar of the 1990s with albums such as "Ropin' the Wind" and "No Fences" and was heralded for his live stage acts. He took a break from heavy touring in the early 2000s, but in recent years has been performing more often.

The 50-year-old Brooks was picked for the Country Music Hall of Fame in its "Modern Era Artist" category.

At Tuesday's announcement in the Nashville-based Hall of Fame, Brooks said it was an honor to be named but added it seemed premature with others such as Randy Travis, Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs still not inducted.

"It's kind of odd to be in this room," he said. "You want to be mentioned in the same breath with George Strait and Reba McEntire -- those are the two heroes I grew up with," he said, adding others like Merle Haggard and George Jones.

"Now you're gonna get to be in the same hall with them? Make no mistake, I don't think I'm on that level. But it's pretty cool to have your name listed with them," he said.

Piano player Hargus "Pig" Robbins was announced in a category for recording and touring musicians. He was among the most sought-after music artists in Nashville for what became known as the "Nashville sound" of the late 1950s and 1960s.

Robbins, 74, also was part of an elite group of studio session musicians known as the Superpickers. He played with hundreds of artists including Haggard, Jones and Reba McEntire.   Continued...

 
Singer Garth Brooks performs after being honored during the Songwriters Hall of Fame awards in New York June 16, 2011.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson