Milsap, the singer of hits such as 1977's "It Was Almost Like
a Song," 1981's "(There's) No Gettin' Over Me" and 1982's "Any
Day Now," broke ground as a blind country music star and helped
the genre win over pop music fans.
The 71-year-old pianist, who was born in North Carolina,
suffered as a child from a congenital disorder. Milsap started
his career as a rhythm and blues performer in the 1960s and
served a session musician for Elvis Presley.
In 1972, he was discovered by country star Charley Pride who
convinced Milsap to move to Nashville and focus on country
music. Milsap went on to win five Grammy awards over the next
two decades and scored a total of 40 No. 1 country songs along
with selling more than 35 million albums in his career.
Milsap will be inducted as a "modern era" artist, while Wiseman
will receive recognition as this year's "veteran era" inductee
and Cochran will be inducted as a songwriter.
Wiseman, 88, a Virginia native who was stricken with polio as a
child, rose to prominence in the 1950s as the singer of hits "Tis
Sweet to Be Remembered," "Love Letters in the Sand" and "The
Ballad of Davy Crockett."
Noted for his beard and nicknamed "The Voice with a Heart,"
Wiseman earned popularity outside of country music with the folk
revival of the 1960s.
Cochran, who died in 2010 at age 74, penned hits such as Patsy
Cline's 1961 song "If I Fall to Pieces" and Ray Price's 1965 hit
"Don't You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me)."
His songs were recorded by the likes of Bing Crosby, Elvis
Costello, Jimmy Buffett and Johnny Cash among others. Cochran
was voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1974.
Milsap, Cochran and Wiseman will be formally inducted into the
County Music Hall of Fame later this year.
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; editing by Patricia Reaney and
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