I'm ambivalent. I don't have a strong opinion about Keith Whitley's induction. I will say that there are modern era artists who have a more substantial catalog, but I guess that's not his fault, considering.
Many, many fans are swooning over this choice, and don't get me wrong, Keith Whitley was an amazing singer. But as someone who was fixated on country music in the late eighties, I can tick off maybe three outstanding Whitley tracks. The Country Music Hall Of Fame induction process, clandestine as it is, is also quite political. No doubt Whitley's widow, Lorrie Morgan lobbied strongly for his selection. Conversely, guys from Bakersfield probably don't have anyone in Nashville petitioning on their behalf.
I'm not here to quibble, though. Instead, let's take a look at Whitley's legacy.
This is my favorite:
Keith had five number one tracks (I honestly had no clue), and this was his first:
This was his second number one:
Any long-time fan of country music knows the sad tale of Keith Whitley's demise, so I'm not going to recount it here. I will say, though, boy, only thirty-five!
Let's end this post with a husband/wife duet released posthumously ~ a very sweet, very country track. Sorry, there is obviously no performance video available.
There you have it, the 2022 Country Music Hall Of Fame inductee in the Modern category.
P.S. I finally realized who Whitley's voice reminds me of ~ Lefty Frizzell.