Finally! Tanya Tucker to Be Inducted to Country Music Hall of Fame

Tanya Tucker has lived many lives during her long an illustrious career in country music: Prodigy and teen star, mainstream commercial powerhouse, inevitable decline, resurgence among the Outlaw movement, to now being considered one of the most revered country legends around today. And now her legacy will all be enshrined permanently in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Announced Monday morning, April 3rd, Tanya Tucker will be the newest inductee into the very exclusive Hall of Fame roll. Rumored to have been considered in both the Modern Era and Veterans Era category over the last few years, with Tucker landing her first hit in 1972 at the tender age of 13 with “Delta Dawn,” it means that for 50 years now she’s been entertaining country fans.

Tanya Tucker was inducted with Patty Loveless in the Modern Era category, and Bob McDill in the Songwriter category, and was introduced by Vince Gill.

“My dad said, you’re never gonna be in the Hall of Fame. You’re never gonna make it,” Tucker said while recalling a trip to Nashville in 1967 to record demos, giving him credit for always pushing her. “I want to thank my dad. He’s the reason I’m here. He was my first believer.”

Tanya also thanked producer Billy Sherrill as his second believer. “Nobody else would have listened to me at 13.”

“Daddy, you were wrong,” Tucker said, finishing her speech. “You weren’t wrong much. But you were wrong about this one.”

Born in Seminole, TX, raised in Wilcox, Arizona, and starting her career as a singer in Henderson, Nevada near Las Vegas, she was performing regularly by the age of 10. Impressing people such as Mel Tillis and songwriter Dolores Fuller, Tucker ended up on the radar of producer Billy Sherrill, and she was signed to Columbia Records. Though at first the label tried to hide her age, it eventually became her selling point as “Delta Dawn” became a smash.

Over the next 25 years, Tanya Tucker would amass ten #1 singles, and thirty-five Top 10’s total, with streaks of hits and runs of popularity in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s as her career ebbed and flowed, but always ended up ebbing again just as everyone began to count her out. Even recently with her 2019 comeback album in While I’m Livin’, Tanya won two Grammy Awards, and earned an entirely new generation of fans.

Beloved for songs like “Texas (When I Die),” “Strong Enough to Bend,” and “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane,” Tanya was also known for her tumultuous personal life, where she dated numerous men well her senior, including Merle Haggard for a stint, Glen Campbell in a famously powder keg relationship, and Andy Gibb of the Bee Gees. Beginning her career at such a tender age, personal troubles often got in the way of her music. In 1988, Tucker sought treatment at the Betty Ford Center. Many times she was counted out, but the punctuation mark on Tanya Tucker’s career was her perseverance through trials and adversity.

Tanya Tucker’s life has been like a country song. That’s how she can sing them with such a convincing attitude and conviction. And though it feels like she’s lived many lifetimes in her career, at 64, Tanya still has time to enjoy this accolade, and continue to add to what now can be officially called a Hall of Fame career.

Tanya Tucker will be formally induced in the the Country Music Hall of Fame during the upcoming Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony.

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