The vocalist of “Delta Dawn,” Tucker, was included in the list of 2023 inductees released by the Country Music Association on Monday in Nashville, Tennessee. Loveless, who expertly fused bluegrass and country, was included in the list of 2023 inductees. In the autumn, a ceremony will officially induct the three.
After a career that included 10 No. 1 hits, more than 40 songs in the top 10, and earning two Grammys for her 2019 comeback album “While I’m Livin’,” the outspoken Tucker is finally getting flowers from the Hall of Fame.
The Country Music Hall of Fame will soon welcome star country songwriter Bob McDill, Grammy winners Tanya Tucker and Patty Loveless, and more.
For years, Tucker had also wondered when she’d finally get the honor.
“I figured I get it when I was dead or something,” she told The Associated Press on Monday. “And I kinda quit thinking about it, or wanting it.”
But Tucker had her heart set on getting in the Hall of Fame since she was just a kid. Tucker recalled seeing the names of her heroes at the Country Music Hall of Fame when she visited Nashville as a 9-year-old fresh-faced singer. Her dad took her to watch the singers at the Grand Ole Opry, encouraging her by asking her, “Wouldn’t you rather be up there doing it, instead of sitting here watching it?”
She’d have her first hit by the age of 13 when “Delta Dawn” came out in 1972, and gracing the cover of Rolling Stone magazine at the age of 15. And as her career bloomed with multiple hits through the 1970s and ’80s, she challenged the standards for women in country music, often being labeled a young rebel whose romances and addictions dominated tabloids.
She won CMA female vocalist of the year in 1991 and had hits with songs like “Down To My Last Teardrop,” “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane” and “Strong Enough to Bend.” Last year, a documentary was released about her and the making of the 2019 record, which she recorded with producers Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings.
Tucker, now 64, said she’s got another record coming this summer that she says will include tributes to those artists who helped and influenced her career. All of the recognition coming for her now feels like it was already foretold, Tucker said.
“It’s almost like my life has been written already,” Tucker said.
Country star Vince Gill helped announce the winners and talked about his long friendship with Loveless, who he said was like his little sister. The two often sang backup for each other on songs like, “My Kind of Woman, My Kind of Man,” “When I Call Your Name,” “Pocket Full of Gold” and “Go Rest High on That Mountain.”
A Kentucky native, Loveless had five No. 1 country singles, on songs like “Timber I’m Falling in Love,” “Blame It On Your Heart” and “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am.” She won CMA’s album of the year in 1995 for “When Fallen Angels Fly,” and female vocalist of the year in 1996.
She began leaning into her bluegrass and Appalachian roots in 2001 with the release of “Mountain Soul,” and its follow up “Mountain Soul II” earned her a Grammy award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2011.
She also earned two CMA Awards for best vocal event with country icon George Jones. Jones’ widow, Nancy Jones, was at the announcement on Monday to congratulate Loveless.