The Music City Walk of Fame announced its 2018 inductees: Ben Folds, Brenda Lee, Jeannie Seely and Ray Stevens.
Following in the footprints of stars Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis and more, Ben, Brenda, Jeannie and Ray will inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame on Aug. 21 at 11:30 a.m at Nashville’s Walk of Fame Park. The event is free and open to the public.
The Music City Walk of Fame—created in 2006—is a tribute to artists of all genres who have contributed to the world through song and made a significant contribution to the music industry with a connection to Music City. Sidewalk medallions line the one-mile stretch with the names of the inductees etched in a star and guitar design. Past inductees include Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Keith Urban, Hank Williams, Trisha Yearwood, Little Big Town, Kenny Rogers and more.
The inductees will receive the 81st, 82nd, 83rd and 84th stars on the Walk of Fame. Ben, Brenda, Jeannie and Ray will be recognized for their significant contributions to preserving the musical heritage of Nashville and for contributing to the world through song or other industry collaboration.
Bios and photos of each inductee are below, courtesy of the Music City Walk of Fame.
Multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter/producer Ben Folds’ genre-bending body of music spans the musical spectrum from pop to classical. An artistic advisor at the Kennedy Center, Folds actively tours the world performing with orchestras and as a pop artist. He frequently appears in film and TV, was a judge for five seasons on the critically-acclaimed NBC show “The Sing Off,” is an avid photographer, is a leading national advocate for arts funding in our schools and music therapy and is currently writing his first book. He also earned international praise for raising awareness that led to the saving of the famed historic RCA Studio A on Music Row from demolition.
Brenda Lee has been a superstar since childhood, selling more than 100 million units of music globally. She released her first single when she was only 11 years old, shared the stage of the Grand Ole Opry with Elvis Presley at 12 and watched The Beatles open for her on tour in Europe before she turned 20. The GRAMMY nominee’s biggest single was “I’m Sorry” in 1960, which went on to sell more than 20 million copies. She is the only female member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
A member of the Grand Ole Opry for 51 years, Jeannie Seely’s recordings have spanned six decades. She was a prolific songwriter, and she earned a GRAMMY for her recording of “Don’t Touch Me” in 1967. A country music legend and trailblazer, Seely became the first female to regularly host segments of the weekly Opry shows and is credited for being the first to wear a mini-skirt on the Opry stage. She hosted a show on the Armed Forces Network, wrote a book and starred in several major stage productions.
Twelve-time nominated and two-time GRAMMY winner Ray Stevens has spanned the generations with 60 years of comedic musical talent, including songs such as his multi-million selling hit “The Streak” and his classic pop standard “Everything Is Beautiful.” Throughout his career, Stevens has sold more than 40 million albums and continues daily office operations at his home base, Ray Stevens Music, located on Nashville’s historic Music Row. Stevens hosts Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville, a 30-minute weekly music/talk show airing on public television. The music legend recently opened his very own Nashville entertainment venue, the CabaRay Showroom, a 35,000-square-foot music venue where Stevens performs weekly live concerts.
main photos by Tammie Arroyo, AFF-USA.com