Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs, fiddler Johnny Gimble, and beloved singer Dottie West have been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Singer Trisha Yearwood returned to the revered Nashville museum in Tennessee, where she once worked as a tour guide, to announce the new class of inductees with her husband Garth Brooks on Tuesday morning (27Mar18).
The country couple welcomed late Country Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year Johnny Gimble to the Hall of Fame's Recording Artist and/or Touring Musician category and introduced his children to the stage.
Gimble, who performed as part of Bob Willis' Texas Playboys and with Willie Nelson and George Strait, died in May, 2015 at the age of 88.
Tearing up as he paid tribute to singer West, who was inducted to the Hall of Fame's Veteran Era wing, Brooks said, "If ever there was an example of a country artist rising above the odds to achieve stardom it would be this next inductee."
He fought back tears as he reminded the media gathered at the press conference that West was the first female artist in country music history to win a Grammy Award.
Yearwood and Brooks also inducted bluegrass superstar Ricky Skaggs as the 2018 Modern Era Artist.
The Kentucky native, a musical prodigy who shared the stage with the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, at the age of six and appeared on the Flatt and Scruggs television show a year later, was a member of Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys as a teenager, before he formed the Country Gentlemen.
A Grand Ole Opry member, multi-Grammy winner Skaggs is a former Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year and a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Musicians Hall of Fame.
Tuesday's induction ceremony was an emotional one for Yearwood and her husband, and at one point she joked, "We're never gonna be asked to do this again; we cry all the time, honey."
The Class of 2018's formal induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame will take place at a medallion ceremony in October.