Outside the Ballot Box

The Country Music Hall of Fame will soon announce it's 2016 inductees - and we've got a rundown of the leading candidates.

Country Weekly
March 21, 2016

The U.S. presidential election isn't the only hotly debated contest that will be put to a vote in 2016. In the coming days, the Country Music Hall of Fame will once again elect one new member/act from each of its three categories: Modern Era, Veteran Era and Songwriter/Musician/Non-Performer (this category rotates, and this year a non-performer will be elected).

The staff at Nash Country Weekly decided to have a little fun by picking eight eligible candidates and creating their personal platforms. For the purposes of our election, we've focused our nominees on the Modern Era candidates, who are eligible for induction 20 years after they first achieve "national prominence." While there are several candidates who could also be considered Veteran Era candidates (40 years after achieving national prominence), our pool of possible candidates includes Clint Black, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, David Allan Coe, Charlie Daniels, Crystal Gayle, Mickey Gilley, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, The Judds, Toby Keith, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Charlie Rich, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, Shania Twain, Gene Watson, Keith Whitney, Hank Williams Jr. and Dwight Yoakam.

Before you cast your hypothetical vote, let our crack staff - managing editor Jim Casey, deputy editor Chris Parton and senior writers Bob Paxman and Tammy Ragusa - see if they can sway your vote. Each NCW staffer nominated two candidates, made their case and allowed 60 seconds for a rebuttal. Now, it's in the hands of more than 100 Country Music Hall of Fame electors charged with the task of selecting the next Modern Era member. And don't worry about our political affiliations, we're keeping our election clean ... and fun.