After Garth Brooks, Which Country Act Should Earn Kennedy Center Honors Next?


Garth Brooks is the ninth country act (and youngest country act) to receive the Kennedy Center Honors. But who else in the genre is worthy of this distinction and hasn’t gotten it yet?

Billboard awards editor Paul Grein named 16 artists who have been voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame but have yet to receive Kennedy Center Honors: Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, The Everly Brothers, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Alan Jackson, Kris Kristofferson, Brenda Lee, Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ricky Skaggs, The Statler Brothers, George Strait, Randy Travis and Hank Williams Jr.

Out of the nine country acts honored by the Kennedy Center so far, no country groups or duos have made the list. Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, The Statler Brothers and The Oak Ridge Boys are likely vying to become the first. Since the Kennedy Center rarely honors artists posthumously, late country legends Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers and Charlie Daniels, who all died in 2020, might not make the cut.

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