New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
he spotlight shined bright on the bluegrass Friday evening as eight of Kentucky's finest musicians and music professionals were inducted into the Kentucky Music
Hall of Fame during the 2015 Induction Ceremony at Lexington, Kentucky's Lexington Center, Bluegrass Ballroom. Pop icons Brian Littrell and Kevin
Richardson of the Backstreet Boys, artist manager Clarence Spalding, folk music legend Doc Hopkins, country-bluegrass singer/songwriter Larry Cordle, country music duo Montgomery Gentry, comedian Pete Stamper and pioneering R&B group, The Moonglows, officially joined the 47 previously-inducted members of the Kentucky Music
Hall of Fame to be eternally recognized for their contributions to music in the bluegrass state and around the globe.
Highlights of the night's event included an emotional tribute to the late Doc Hopkins by his nephew, Kenneth Hopkins, 94, who sang "Will The Circle Be Unbroken," after accepting the award on Doc's behalf; a laughter-filled acceptance speech from Pete Stamper which garnered a standing ovation; a high-energy set fueled by hometown pride by country duo Montgomery Gentry; and bluegrass-infused renditions of "I Want It That Way," and "Larger Than Life
" from Kevin
Richardson and Brian Littrell alongside Josh Turner
and Carson McKee. The two college students were surprised with the invitation to sing alongside Richardson and Littrell at the 2015 Induction Ceremony after Richardson discovered their stand-out covers on YouTube.
"When people hear the Backstreet Boys, most people probably don't equate us with Kentucky, or Kentucky music, but two thirds of the Backstreet Boys
are strongly [voice breaking], deeply rooted in Kentucky. We are singers, first and foremost, and we are Kentuckians," said Richardson. "Just to grace the stage tonight with the people who have accepted these awards… I hope that we do you proud with our performance," added Littrell. "We want to thank the Kentucky Music
Hall of Fame for giving us the honor of becoming part of this family tonight," said Richardson.
Kentucky, which is known as the "Bluegrass State" is rich in its musical heritage across all genres including pop, rock, country, gospel, folk, jazz and more. Since its founding in 2002, the Kentucky Music
Hall of Fame has inducted 56 of Kentucky's most notable musicians including Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, The Judd's, Dwight Yoakam, Crystal Gayle, Molly
O' Day, Exile, The Kentucky Headhunters and Steven Curtis Chapman, to name a few. For more information on the Kentucky Music
Hall of Fame and Museum, please visit www.kentuckymusicmuseum.com.
About Brian Littrell and Kevin
Cousins Brian Littrell and Kevin
Richardson grew up in Central Kentucky and sang together in local church choirs and festivals. Today, they are leading members of one of the best-selling vocal groups in the history of the music industry. The multiple award winning and Grammy-nominated group, the Backstreet Boys, has sold 130 million records worldwide and is recognized as the best-selling boy band in history. Not only have their first nine albums all debuted in the Top 10 on the Billboard Top 100, but they have gone gold and platinum in 46 countries. The Backstreet Boys
are the only group in Canadian history to have had three consecutive diamond albums commemorating sales of over 10 million records, and they hold two diamond awards in the United States. The group also made history when their anticipated 11-week, 39-city 1999-2000 North American MILLENNIUM arena tour sold out within the first hour. The Backstreet Boys
continue to be an essential figure in pop culture receiving a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013.
About Clarence Spalding
Clarence Spalding is President of Maverick
Nashville where he manages Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Kix Brooks, Terri Clark
and Seth Alley. He managed the award winning duo Brooks & Dunn
for 20 years. During that period the duo sold over 30 million records, had 23 number one hits, and won over 80 industry awards. He has also been involved in the careers of Eddie Rabbitt, Ronnie Milsap, KT Oslin, and Roger
Miller to name a few. All combined Spalding's acts have sold over 70 million records and won over 130 major industry awards. He served as Chairman and President of the CMA (Country Music
Association) and remains an active member for the organization. Spalding also serves as a member of the Nashville Music
Council with Mayor Karl Dean and the Country Music
Hall of Fame.
About Doc Hopkins
As one of the founders of the Cumberland Ridge Runners, Doc Hopkins played and performed over seven decades for audiences as one of our nation's most beloved and well-respected folk singers. Hopkins grew up in Rockcastle County, Kentucky where he learned to play banjo and got his start performing in medicine shows in and around central Kentucky. For two decades Doc Hopkins was featured on top-rated, nationally-broadcast radio programs, including "The Dinner Bell Program," the, "Smile a While Program," and the "Merry-Go-Round" show. Thousands of fans across the country fell in love with his style of music and his down-home folksy renditions of "I'm here to get my baby out of jail," "Honey in the Rock," "My Grandfather's Clock" and "We Buried Her Beneath the Willow." Doc's unique way of combining his spoken word with music and his accomplished three-finger-and-thumb guitar style, won the admiration of music fans across the country, but it was Doc's humble good natured personality that won the HEARTS of his fans - he was once asked about his talents as a musician and a singer- Doc simply said, "I just sing the same as all us folks do down in Kentucky."
About Larry Cordle
Larry Cordle, one of Nashville's most celebrated songwriters, got his big break when his original song, "Highway 40 Blues" was recorded by his fellow Eastern Kentucky friend and musical prodigy, Ricky Skaggs. The song launched Cordle's songwriting career, and since then, his original songs have been recorded by artists such as George
Strait, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Trace Adkins, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Garth Brooks
and many more. Cordle also performs with his own band, Lonesome Standard Time, who have garnered two Grammy nominations of their own and landed #1 slots on the Bluegrass and Americana charts. In addition to his songwriting and role as a bandleader, Cordle is sometimes featured as a lead and background vocalist on some of Nashville's most awarded and popular album for artists such as Garth Brooks, Blake
Shelton, Bradley Walker, Billy Yates, Rebecca Lynn Howard
and co-writing pal, Jerry Salley.
About Montgomery Gentry
With over 20 plus charted singles, the Kentucky-born duo is preparing to celebrate a major career milestone as Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry will be inducted into the Kentucky Music
Hall of Fame on April 10. With over 20 plus charted singles, the Kentucky-born duo just celebrated a major career milestone as Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry were recently inducted into the Kentucky Music
Hall of Fame. On June 9, the pair will release their eighth studio album and first with label partner Blaster Records. Montgomery Gentry
has earned countless CMA, ACM, and GRAMMY awards and nominations with undeniable blue collar anthems like "Hell Yeah," "My Town," and "Hillbilly Shoes." They've notched five #1 singles ("If You Ever Stop Loving Me," "Something To Be Proud Of," "Lucky Man," "Back When I Knew It All
" and "Roll With Me
") and will soon celebrate their sixth anniversary as Grand Ole Opry members. For more about Montgomery Gentry, visit www.montgomerygentry.com, engage with Troy and Eddie on Facebook, @mgunderground on twitter, and check out their YouTube channel.
About Pete Stamper
Pete Stamper: comedian, songwriter, musician, author, broadcaster and one of country music's most respected entertainers. Pete Stamper was born on July 25, 1930 and was raised in the small town of Dawson Springs, in western Kentucky. Pete's talents as an entertainer were well recognized within the country music industry; in the mid-1950's Pete was asked to be a part of the Red Foley Ozark Jubilee Show, in Springfield, Missouri. Pete spent three years on Red Foley's show, the first country music show of its kind, and was seen in over 10 million homes from coast-to-coast on ABC's weekly TV broadcast. He made numerous appearances on The Porter Wagoner Show and also performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. An accomplished songwriter, he has written songs for many of country music's biggest stars including Red and Betty Foley, Porter Wagoner, Billy Anderson and many others. Today, Pete continues to host a morning show on WRVK in Renfro Valley where he continues to share his wit, charm, humor and warmth with his loyal fan base. In 2008, the Kentucky Broadcaster's Association honored Pete Stamper with the prestigious Stephen Foster Award.
About The Moonglows
The Moonglows, a Rhythm and Blues vocal group formed in the early 1950's is known for their signature singing style known as "blow note" harmony. Prentiss Barnes, bass; Alexander
"Pete" Graves, second tenor; Bobby
Lester, lead vocals and Harvey
Fuqua, whose smooth vocals and propensity for writing romantic ballads, made up the foursome. The Moonglows released two original songs that would become Christmas standards: the rockin' "Hey Santa
Claus," and the soulful blues ballad, "Just a Lonely Christmas." The single "Sincerely," with Bobby
Lester on lead vocals, sold 300,000 copies and claimed the number 1 spot on the Billboard R&B chart and reached the top 20 on the pop chart. Later, The McGuire Sisters took the song to number 1 on the pop charts and sold over 1 million copies. In 1956, the band's popularity led to an appearance in the movie, "Rock, Rock, Rock" with Chuck Berry
and other leading acts promoting the new Rock-n-Roll sound. The Moonglows performed at the top venues across the country, including The Brooklyn Paramount, The Municipal Auditorium in Buffalo, and also made a guest appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Other hits for the group followed. "We Go Together," "See Saw," "Please Send Me Someone to Love" and "Ten Commandments" all reached the Billboard Top 10. The Moonglows were inducted into the UGHA Hall of Fame in 1992 and The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in March of 2000. Henry Fuqua, the last remaining member of the original Moonglows, passed away in July of 2010. The band's success as a 1950's R & B chart-topping group, their pioneering "blow note" harmony technique and their early influence on Rock & Roll music have made The Moonglows vocal legends.