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Country Music Hall of Fame announces new class

Reba McEntire, Jean Shepard, Bobby Braddock to be inducted

Femme stars Reba McEntire and Jean Shepard and cleffer Bobby Braddock are the 2011 inductees in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Oklahoma-born McEntire, the daughter of a rodeo champ, is the most successful female star of her generation, with 24 No. 1 country singles and 50 top-10 singles to her credit. She has become a multi-media star, toplining the long-running sitcom “Reba” and the B’way revival of “Annie Get Your Gun” and doing notable feature film work.

Shepard was a pioneering femme vocalist of the ’50s, when the genre was dominated by male stars. Beginning in 1953 with “A Dear John Letter,” her No. 1 duet with Ferlin Husky, she logged a 20-year chart run on Capitol Records; her early LPs included concept collections like “Songs of a Love Affair.”

Originally Marty Robbins’ piano player, Braddock penned such classic country songs as Tammy Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” Geroge Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and the Jones-Wynette duet “Golden Ring.” He has written hits for such contemporary stars as Toby Keith, Billy Currington and Blake Shelton, and has recorded in his own right for MGM, Columbia, Mercury, Elektra and RCA.

McEntire, Shepard and Braddock will be officially inducted at a ceremony in Nashville later this year.