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Bestselling Country Duo Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Ray Stevens, Jerry Bradley also honored
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 21, 2019 12:15 AM CDT
Ray Stevens speaks after being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during the 2019 Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 in Nashville, Tenn.   (Photo by Sanford Myers/Invision/AP)
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(Newser) – Bestselling country duo of all time Brooks & Dunn, comedian and singer Ray Stevens, and record executive Jerry Bradley joined the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday evening in a star-filled ceremony full of tributes to their lasting country music legacies. Reba McEntire, Luke Bryan, Trisha Yearwood, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, and Travis Tritt were among the guest performers during the medallion ceremony in Nashville at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the AP reports. Neither Kix Brooks nor Ronnie Dunn thought the partnership would last, but decades later they are the most awarded and bestselling country duo of all time, with 19 CMA Awards, two Grammys, 25 Academy of Country Music Awards, and 20 No. 1 hits.

Brooks' flamboyant nature and guitar playing served as the perfect counterpoint to Dunn's stellar singing and more understated personality. Reba McEntire, who has played alongside Brooks & Dunn since the '90s and has a longstanding Las Vegas residency with the duo, came to put the medallions over their heads and joked that she considered them her "big brothers." Comedian and country singer Ray Stevens is known for his novelty songs like "The Streak" and "Ahab the Arab," but also the earnest and Grammy-winning "Everything is Beautiful." "Any time is a good time to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame," the 80-year-old said. But he joked that if the induction had come sooner, he "could have upped his booking fees."

(Read more Brooks & Dunn stories.)

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