Grammy winner Ronnie Milsap, legendary songwriter Hank Cochran and a revered figure in the bluegrass world, Mac Wiseman, are the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The annual induction announcement has become a rite of spring on Music Row - the handicapping, the secrecy and then the big moment.
There are only 124 plaques on the rotunda wall after all these years of country music history, so picking these names is never easy.
Platinum recording artist Hunter Hayes is one of country music's freshest new stars, and the talented young musician came off the road Tuesday morning to introduce his music hero, Milsap.
Milsap is a favorite of country fans, pop fans and his fellow stars. Going into the Country Music Hall of Fame, even for this veteran musician, is huge.
"I'm so grateful and I'm so honored," he said.
He enters country music's legendary "unbroken circle" alongside Cochran and jack-of-all-trade bluegrass entrepreneur Wiseman.
"I'm at a loss for words to tell you how important this is to me," Wiseman said.
With a 70-year resume, Wiseman has seen almost the entire history of modern country music - from his days with Flatt and Scruggs, to the Bill Monroe Blue Grass Boys. From picker to singer to Dot Record executive, he's seen and done all and couldn't have a bigger smile on his face Tuesday.
Songwriter legend Cochran left us in 2010 at age 74. He wrote with Harlan Howard and Dean Dillion some of the biggest songs in country music history.
The first recipients of this honor - Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose and Hank Williams - were inducted in 1961.
A formal induction ceremony for the newest trio will take place later this year.
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Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:12:28 GMT
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