Three stars named to country's hall of fame

  • Updated: April 10, 2013 - 7:43 PM
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at the garden: Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac performed during a concert Monday at Madison Square Garden in New York. The band announced it will be releasing new music soon via its website.

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The Country Music Hall of Fame recognized pioneers who are responsible for the genre’s growing diversity by selecting its new class of Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare and Jack Clement. The trio of trailblazing inductees attended a news conference Wednesday the hall’s museum in Nashville to announce the class of 2013.

With songs like “The Gambler,” “Lucille” and the Lionel Richie-produced “Lady,” Rogers was both a pop music crossover and a pop culture sensation in the 1970s and ’80s. He starred in TV movies in the role of The Gambler, and with his trademark white hair and beard remains one of music’s most recognizable figures. He was inducted in the modern era category.

Clement — a k a Cowboy Jack — made his biggest contributions as a producer, working as a producer and engineer at Sun Records during the era of Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley. He sent Jerry Lee Lewis away, his daughter said in a speech that she read for her father, because he was singing the songs of others. He instructed the future rock ’n’ roll legend to find his own sound.

Bill Anderson, a hall of famer who hosted the news conference, noted that Clement had the “foresight and fortitude” to produce a young Charley Pride.

And Bare, inducted in the veterans era category, charted his own path after being signed by Chet Atkins. Once a roommate of Willie Nelson, he emulated the free-thinking outlaw movement, but never actually joined it, by inspiring his contemporaries to move freely from country to pop and rock, and back again.

They will be formally inducted later this year.

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