Planning a trip to Nashville in 2018? The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has announced its new exhibits for the coming year, and you may want to set your travel schedule around it. Starting in March, the museum will be rolling out a lineup that honors timeless legends, country’s hottest quartet and some of the brightest rising stars.
On March 9, the museum debuts “American Currents: The Music of 2017,” a review of a year that yielded a bumper crop of fresh faces and news-making events. Among the breakout artists to be featured are Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown and Luke Combs.
Combs, who recently notched his second No. 1 with “When It Rains It Pours,” is delighted by the honor so early in his career. “As often as I have toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum with family and friends that come to Nashville,” he said in a statement, “I have daydreamed about having my stuff here, and … that dream is now a reality.”
On June 29, supergroup Little Big Town will get the star treatment in the display space reserved for country’s upper-echelon contemporary acts. Celebrating two decades of performing together, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook are riding a wave of other recent accomplishments, including their sixth consecutive CMA Award for Vocal Group of the Year and a year-long sold-out residency at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. LBT’s exhibit will take the place of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s exhibit, which opened last month.
On July 13, the museum will debut its tribute to the late bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, who took home the 2001 Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his rendition of “O Death,” from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? Stanley’s display will move into the slot now occupied by Lynn (“I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”) Anderson’s artifacts.
“I am truly humbled and grateful to partner with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to honor the Judds’ legacy and relive some of the special moments we shared with our fans,” Wynonna Judd said in a statement. Her mother echoed her emotions, and she praised her daughter for her solo career: “I’m so proud of all the success Wynonna has accomplished, and we owe everything to the fans who welcomed the Judds music into their homes.”
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Finally, on Oct. 5, groundbreaking artist Emmylou Harris will be honored in the expansive room reserved for members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. (Loretta Lynn’s exhibit is holding court there now.) In her 40-year career, Harris has earned 12 Grammy awards, put 14 albums in Billboard’s Top 10 country albums, influenced such artists as Trisha Yearwood and the Dixie Chicks, and played a key role in the careers of Ricky Skaggs and Rodney Crowell.
“This exhibit at the Hall of Fame makes me realize once more how grateful and honored I am to be part of such a remarkable musical family,” Harris said in a statement.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum attracts more than a million visitors each year to view exhibits drawn from its collection of more than 2.5 million artifacts. It celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.