The enthusiasm had been building surrounding the March 29 announcement of the Country Music Hall of Fame class of 2016. With so many worthy artists, whom would they pick?

Well, the mystery is over.

In a special ceremony in downtown Nashville, the Country Music Association announced that Charlie Daniels, Fred Foster and Randy Travis will now become the newest members of the revered Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

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And while Fred’s acceptance speech was endearing and Charlie’s acceptance was quite touching, it was the appearance of Randy that had country fans in tears. Walking with the assistance of his wife, Randy stood at the podium, often flashing his distinctive smile and chuckle. And while he was unable to say much more than a few thank yous during the actual speech, he did release the following statement:

“The halls of fame are built for, and by, those that make a difference in their chosen career,” said Travis. “I chose a career that I loved – and, it made a difference in me! My greatest joy was sharing my song and my God-given talent with family, friends, fans, and the industry. Thank you for giving me the chance, for believing in me along the way, and for allowing me to ‘hang my hat’ alongside some of my greatest heroes.”

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“I am honored to join those before me, and humbled to go ahead of those that will follow into Country Music’s Hall of Fame: no greater award could I ask to receive. God bless CMA and God bless our country’s music—Forever and Ever, Amen!”

Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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