Toby Keith, John Anderson Among Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees

We now know who the next members of the Country Music Hall of Fame will be. Brooks & Dunn, who became members in 2019, announced that Toby Keith, John Anderson, and guitarist James Burton will be inducted at the Medallion Ceremony later this year.

Keith will be inducted posthumously into the Modern Era. Sarah Trahern, CEO of the Country Music Association, shared the uncanny timing of Keith being chosen to be part of this year’s class of inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“This year, we anticipated receiving the names of our final inductees, on Tuesday, February 6,” Trahern shared. “As we know, we woke up that morning to the heartbreaking news that our friend, Toby Keith, had lost his long battle with stomach cancer. What’s bittersweet is that just a few hours later, our team received word that he had been elected into the Modern Era category. Truly one of the greatest honors of my job is getting to inform these inductees that they are the newest members of the hallowed class.

“My heart sank that Tuesday afternoon, knowing that we missed the chance to inform Toby while he was still with us,” she added. “But I have no doubt that he’s smiling down on us, knowing that he’ll always be as good as he once was.”

Keith’s son, Stelen, accepted the honor on his father’s behalf.

“On behalf of my whole family, we want to thank the Hall of Fame,” he said. “It’s an honor to stand here and represent my father. He was an amazing man, husband, father and artist. I just want to thank everybody for being here.”

Anderson will be inducted into the Veterans Era Artist category.

“I wanna say, this is probably the greatest honor I could ever receive, standing on this stage today,” the “Swingin'” singer said. “Still trying to get a grasp on the reality of this happening for me. So very proud, and so honored. I want to thank all the fans that have of course supported us through the last nearly 50 years, all the folks at the Hall of Fame and the CMA, for letting this be possible, this moment for me.”

Anderson went on to thank several people who have helped him throughout his career that has spanned more than 40 years.

“This is an institution that preserves greatness,” the 69-year-old remarked. “And I know it is because I have some dear friends, many dear friends that are in the Hall of Fame. People like Ernest Tubb, Miss Minnie Pearl, Loretta Lynn, Porter [Wagoner], Little Jimmy Dickens … and of course, George [Jones] and Merle [Haggard], who I was fortunate enough to run with and do shows. But just the fact that I get a chance to be amongst this kind of greatness, words can’t really explain for me how important it is.”

“Music has been my whole life, or a lot of what keeps me driven since I was just a child. And I have so much to be thankful for,” he continued, citing his gratitude for having a supportive family, especially while he was on the road.

‘I would like to say too,” he concluded, “again how honored I am to have just a small spot in this institution, and I hope that I can do my part to try not to mess it up. God bless you all.”

Burton will be inducted in the Recording and/or Touring Musician category. Known for his decades-long work with Elvis Presley, Burton is considered one of the best guitar players, he has a signature Fender guitar with his name on it.

“I’m really surprised for a guitar player, but I just want to thank all you guys for your love and support,” Burton said of the honor. “What can I say? It’s really an honor. I’m gonna be here for a long time. I love you guys. Thank you so much.”

Patty LovelessTanya Tucker and songwriter Bob McDill were inducted in 2023. Find more information on all of the Country Music Hall of Fame members at