Membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame
Election to the Country Music Hall of Fame is country music's highest honor. The Country Music Association (CMA), the country music industry's trade organization, created the accolade to recognize significant contributions to the advancement of country music by individuals in both the creative and business communities. The first members-Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams-were inducted in 1961.
Election to the Country Music Hall of Fame is solely the prerogative of the CMA. New members, elected annually by an anonymous panel of industry leaders chosen by the CMA, are formally inducted in special, invitation-only ceremonies held at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum's Ford Theater.
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization and does not participate in the election. Through a licensing agreement with the CMA, the Museum exhibits the bronze plaques commemorating membership in a space and fashion befitting the honor.
Visitors to the Museum's 5,300-square-foot Country Music Hall of Fame Rotunda agree that this space inspires reverence for the deepest roots of the music and the highest aspirations of the membership. Showcasing the cultural significance of the music and the lasting achievements of those who have shaped it, the Museum re-opened in its new building in May 2001. We are grateful to the CMA for the $2 million donation, earmarked for the Hall of Fame Rotunda, that partially financed this new facility, and for the CMA's continuing support of the Museum's educational mission.
About the Hall of Fame Rotunda
This special room was designed to recognize Hall of Fame members in a style befitting the high honor of membership. Everyone recognized here is an equal. The members' plaques are placed randomly around the room-except for the newest members of the Hall of Fame, whose plaques can be found alongside Thomas Hart Benton's painting The Sources of Country Music. The room is round to ensure that every Hall of Fame member has a place of equal importance.