Reba, Shepard, Braddock enter Country Hall of Fame

By CHRIS TALBOTT | May 22, 2011 | 9:57 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Country Music Hall of Fame has welcomed two pioneering women and a songwriter who has helped define the sound of country music.

Singers Reba McEntire and Jean Shepard and songwriter Bobby Braddock entered the hall of fame Sunday night in Nashville, Tenn. A star-studded lineup saluted the three inductees whose contributions continue to color the genre decades after their careers began.

Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton gathered to salute the new inductees. George Jones was on hand as well, inducting Shepard and helping celebrate Braddock with a rendition of "He Stopped Loving Her Today."

McEntire and Shepard helped clear the way for the women of country music who followed and Braddock is the first inductee in the new songwriter category.