The Music City Walk of Fame announced its 2019 inductees: Lady Antebellum, Clint Black, Mac McAnally, Chet Atkins (posthumously) and DeFord Bailey (posthumously).
Following in the footprints of stars Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis and more, the new honorees will inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame on Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. at Nashville’s Walk of Fame Park. The event is free and open to the public.
The Music City Walk of Fame—created in 2006—is a tribute to artists of all genres who have contributed to the world through song and made a significant contribution to the music industry with a connection to Music City. Sidewalk medallions line the one-mile stretch with the names of the inductees etched in a star and guitar design. Past inductees include Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Keith Urban, Hank Williams, Trisha Yearwood, Little Big Town, Kenny Rogers and more.
The inductees will receive the 85th, 86th, 87th, 88th and 89th stars on the Walk of Fame. The new honorees will be recognized for their significant contributions to preserving the musical heritage of Nashville and for contributing to the world through song or other industry collaboration.
Bios of each inductee are below, courtesy of the Music City Walk of Fame.
After a wave of change, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott have watched the tides rise and fall and are embracing the power of vulnerability with their upcoming album OCEAN, set for release Nov. 15. It marks a new beginning that brings the multi-Platinum trio back to their roots, showcasing their familiar vocal interplay and individual instruments on the emotionally resonant 13-track project. Over the course of their decade-plus career, Lady Antebellum has become one of the 21st century’s premier vocal groups, blending deeply felt emotions with classic country sounds. As a Country-radio staple, the trio has amassed record-breaking success with nine No. 1 hits while ushering in more than 18 million album units and 34 million tracks sold, with over 4 billion digital streams. Known for their nine-time Platinum hit “Need You Now,” which is the highest certified song by a Country group, they have earned ACM and CMA “Vocal Group of the Year” trophies three years in a row and countless other honors, including seven GRAMMY awards, Billboard Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards, Teen Choice Awards and a Tony Award nod.
Clint Black surged to superstardom as part of the fabled Class of ’89, reaching No. 1 with five consecutive singles from his triple-platinum debut Killin’ Time. He followed that with the triple-platinum Put Yourself in My Shoes and then a string of platinum and gold albums throughout the 1990s. Perhaps most impressively, he wrote or co-wrote every one of his more than three dozen chart hits, including “A Better Man,” “Killin’ Time,” “When My Ship Comes In,” “A Good Run of Bad Luck,” “Summer’s Comin’,” “Like the Rain” and “Nothin’ But the Taillights,” as part of a catalog that produced 22 No. 1 singles and 31 Top Ten singles, making him one of the most successful singer/songwriters of the modern era. Along the way, he sold over 20 million records, earned more than a dozen gold and platinum awards in the U.S. and Canada, including a GRAMMY, landed nearly two dozen major awards and nominations, and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He continues to tour more than 80 cities throughout North America in 2019 as he celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Killin’ Time.
A record breaking 10-time CMA Musician of the Year, Mac McAnally is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame and Alabama Music Hall of Fame. The renowned songwriter, singer and instrumental virtuoso has authored dozens of hit records for other artists, several of which peaked at No. 1. His own recording career began with a debut hit single “It’s A Crazy World” (1977) and continues most recently with his 14th album release Southbound (2017), an ambitious orchestral adaptation of many of his best-known songs. He has written hits for Alabama, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and Sawyer Brown, and he has studio credits that include albums by Toby Keith, Linda Ronstadt, George Strait, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley and Amy Grant, among many others.
Chet Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001)
Chester Burton Atkins, nicknamed by throngs of fans as “Mister Guitar,” changed the world of guitar music, developing and elevating an innovative guitar playing style that has inspired scores of musicians, including Mark Knopfler, George Harrison and Paul McCartney, Earl Klugh, Tommy Emmanuel, Doc Watson, Lenny Breau, Jerry Reed and many others. He was a successful recording artist and became one of the most prolific record producers in history. While on Music Row in Nashville, Chet discovered and signed many talented artists as Vice President of RCA and ushered in what was later to be known as the “Nashville Sound.” Artists included Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Dolly Parton, Jerry Reed, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Charley Pride and many others. He received 15 GRAMMY Awards and the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received 11 Country Music Association award for Instrumentalist of the Year. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
DeFord Bailey (December 14, 1899 – July 2, 1982)
DeFord Bailey, the Grand Ole Opry’s first African American member, made his first documented Opry appearance on June 19, 1926. Bailey, billed as “The Harmonica Wizard,” was a regular on the show until 1941, and his signature tune, “Pan American Blues,” often opened the broadcasts. His music is intertwined with the storied history of the Grand Ole Opry for it was after one of his performances that WSM program director George D. Hay proclaimed, “For the past hour we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera but from now on we will present the Grand Ole Opry.” Bailey was born in 1899 into a farming family in rural Smith County, Tenn., where he was raised by his aunt and uncle. He had polio at age three, which stunted his growth. He began learning harmonica as a young child and grew up playing what he called “black hillbilly music,” a tradition of secular string-band music shared by rural black and white musicians alike. He moved to Nashville in 1918, where he learned jazz, blues and pop songs, becoming a bridge between rural folk music and the modern world of commercial popular music. His harmonica playing caught the attention of the music industry, and he was soon playing on a national stage through Opry appearances and recordings for Brunswick and Victor Records. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.