Charlie Daniels. (AP)
(CNSNews.com) -- The Country Music Association (CMA) announced today that the legendary Charlie Daniels will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year, along with fellow inductees Fred Foster and Randy Travis.
Charlie Daniels, who started his professional music career in 1954, is being inducted into the Veteran's Era category, according to the CMA.
The event will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater in Nashville, Tenn. During the Medallion Ceremony, "friends and colleagues pay tribute to each inductee through words and song," said the CMA.
Also, "bronze plaques honoring each inductee are unveiled, to be displayed later in the museum's Rotunda," said the CMA.
Charlie Daniels was born October 28, 1936 in Wilmington, North Carolina. As he grew up, Daniels was steeped in the musical traditions of folk, bluegrass, gospel, country, and rock. He "was a pioneer in introducing southern rock sounds into mainstream country music," said the CMA.
"In the process, he widened country’s popularity by bringing millions of young people to a greater appreciation of their country music heritage, established musical alliances with a wide variety of artists in country and other music fields, and helped take country to deeper levels of American culture," said the CMA.
"Critical to this achievement was his session work on Bob Dylan albums recorded in Nashville in the 1960s, including Nashville Skyline," said the CMA. "Daniels also supported Ringo Starr on Starr’s Beaucoups of Blues. “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” and the Charlie Daniels Band were featured in the landmark film Urban Cowboy (1980), a movie that helped ignite a boom in country music’s popularity widened its audience across the nation."
Charlie Daniels' lifetime record sales have surpassed 13.5 million units, said the CMA, which puts him on a par with Paul Simon, John Lennon, Natalie Cole, Yes, the Temptations, and Jefferson Airplane/Starship.
Daniels' song, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," went platinum as a single, was the CMA single of the Year in 1979, and earned the Charlie Daniels Band a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
The Charlie Daniels Band has been awarded CMA Instrumental Group of the Year Awards, and Daniels himself has been honored with the CMA Musician of the Year Award, as well as two Dove Awards. In 2008, Charlie Daniels became a cast member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Over the years, Daniels has placed 33 singles on the Billboard country charts, reported the CMA. Among his top hits are "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," "Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye," "Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues," "Uneasy Rider," "The South's Gonna Do It Again," and "In America."
Daniels has been married since 1963, and he and his wife Hazel have one son, Charlie Daniels, Jr.