Ricky Skaggs Says His Parents, Faith and Community Led Him to the Country Music Hall of Fame
In a ceremony on Tuesday morning (March 27), hosted by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, the Country Music Association unveiled its newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame: Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West and Johnny Gimble. Skaggs, the only living honoree in the Class of 2018, took the stage for an emotional speech in response to his induction in the category of Modern Era Artist.
"I just walked past a picture of Jimmie Rodgers and thought, 'This is really big' -- my dad's favorite singer was Jimmie Rodgers," Skaggs recalled from stage. "I think the joy I have in my music really comes from my dad. I never knew anyone who loved music more than him ... He recorded everything I ever did."
Skaggs' father sparked his musical career by giving him a mandolin when he was five years old; however, the country legend's mother had significant influence in his career, too.
"My dad gave me a love for music, but my mom gave me a love for Jesus," Skaggs noted. "That little seed that she planted in my heart has grown, and I've enjoyed the journey with [faith]."
In his brief speech, Skaggs went on to detail his journey to Nashville, as well as the changes the music industry has seen over the decades. Through it all, he maintains, the institution of the Country Music Hall of Fame remains sacred.
"We honor ... the elders of the music industry," he says. "Just thinking about all the people in this hallowed room here -- we're still standing on their shoulders. It's an absolute honor to be inducted.
"And to all my fans out there that thought that I was already a member of the Hall of Fame," Skaggs added, cracking a smile, "today makes it official."
Born in 1954, the Kentucky native has accumulated 15 Grammys, eight CMA awards and numerous other accolades in the bluegrass field and outside of it since the outset of his storied career. Skaggs has shared the stage with bluegrass legends such as Bill Monroe and Emmylou Harris, and also expanded the genre with unexpected collaborations, such as a performance with the jam band Phish. He is also member of the Grand Ole Opry.
"You need only to look at the sheer magnitude of the artists he's shared a microphone with over the years, from Flatt & Scruggs ... to modern superstars such as Keith Urban," Brooks said while introducing Skaggs. "In the '90s, he made a promise to Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass, who knew he was nearing the end of his life, that he would help to keep the flame of the music Monroe created alive."
Skaggs and his fellow inductees will formally join the ranks of the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year. The invite-only Medallion Ceremony will take place at the CMA Theater.
Here's the Full List of Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees