Ray Charles was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He joins veteran session drummer Eddie Bayers, pedal steel guitarist Pete Drake and mother-daughter duo The Judds in class 2021. New members of the Country Music Hall of Fame are elected annually by a panel of industry representatives elected by the Country Music Association. Check out the full announcement below.

Charles’ founding album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music from 1962 helped connect the dots between blues, soul, R&B and country music while expanding the genre’s audience. He kept country music in his repertoire throughout his career and worked with country artists such as Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.

Read about modern sounds in country and western music in Pitchfork’s list of the “200 best albums of the 1960s”.