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Garth Brooks inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame

Garth Brooks appears in an undated photo from his official website. (GarthBrooks.com)

March 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The Country Music Association announced that Garth Brooks has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Brooks, 50, will be inducted in the "Modern Era Artist" category. Keyboard player Hargus "Pig" Robbins and singer Connie Smith were also announced as new members by the CMA, bringing the number of inductees to 118.

"I am astounded and honored to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame," said Brooks. "At the same time, I can't help but feel guilty going in when there are so many deserving artists that came before me who are yet to be inducted."

Brooks, who is in semi-retirement in Oklahoma, took country music to a new level over a 15-year period, becoming the top-selling solo artist in the U.S. with more than 128 million albums sold.

Smith is among a pioneering wave of female singers, and released her 53rd album this year. Blind since childhood, Robbins is considered among the top session players in Nashville over a 50-year career.

Induction ceremonies for Brooks, Robbins, and Smith will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum later this year. CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format with country music's highest honor.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.