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Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson Future Hall of Fame Members?

Brad Paisley photo by John Russell, courtesy of the CMA; Alan Jackson photo by Sara Kauss Photography.

Last week, the biggest names in country music were in Nashville for CMA Music Festival. In honor of the festival, the Nashville Scene pondered which acts of today will be legends tomorrow. Will your grandkids roll their eyes when you tell them about seeing Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Trace Adkins all perform on the same night just as you might have rolled your eyes at your own grandparents re-living concerts by Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, or will they still be listening to them on the radio?

To answer the question of which of the artists who are hot right now will still be making music in 30 years, the Scene posed the question: Which of these artists will end up in the Country Music Hall of Fame? Reba McEntire, who was just inducted into the Hall of Fame, performed at LP Field on Friday night and is still making hits. The magazine believes there are two artists who are shoo-ins for the Hall of Fame down the road – Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson.

“They’re great singers, solid songwriters, consistent chart-toppers over a long time, genuinely popular figures on Music Row and critical favorites for the occasional left-field fling (“Murder on Music Row,” “Mercury Blues,” “Whiskey Lullaby” and “Welcome to the Future”),” Geoffrey Himes wrote in the article. “At this point, these guys would have to sign up with al-Qaeda to stay out of the Hall of Fame.”

Placed on the Hall of Fame bubble in the article are Keith Urban and Martina McBride. Keith, Geoffery believes, needs a project that will push him over the hump, while Martina, despite her hits, still needs to “bolster her case.” Geoffrey considers Lonestar even further outside the Hall of Fame despite their string of hit songs, and believes Gary Allan and Terri Clark, despite their support from critics, don’t have the career numbers to be inducted into the circle.

The article then shifts to examining some of the acts that have hit a career stride in recent years. Rascal Flatts was name-checked with the opposite problem as Gary and Terri – they have the numbers but perhaps not the critical support, according to Geoffrey. Sugarland and Lady Antebellum both saw their careers take off early on, but whether they can main that momentum in years to come will determine their Hall of Fame chances. Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert, Geoffrey believes, have good cases for future Hall of Fame residences thanks to their unconventional career choices.

The wildcard in the future Hall of Famer debate, according to Geoffrey, is Taylor Swift. “The real question is whether or not Swift will stay in the country music world long enough to justify a Hall of Fame induction,” Geoffrey wrote.

So what do you think? If you were voting on the next Hall of Fame class 30 years from now, who would go on your ballot? Dierks? Miranda? Taylor? Or someone else? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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