Brown had been suffering from lung cancer for most of the past year, and he was announced as a Hall of Fame inductee in March. Although the official Medallion Ceremony won't take place until the fall, CMA CEO Sarah Trahern, Hall of Famer Bill Anderson and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young visited him in the hospital last week to present his medallion.
Jim Ed was a star of the Grand Ole Opry for more than five decades. He and his sisters Maxine and Bonnie had a 10-week number-one hit with "The Three Bells." On his own, he went Top 5 in 1967 with "Pop a Top," which Alan Jackson later covered. Later on, he teamed with Helen Cornelius for a number of hits, including the chart-topping "I Don't Want to Have to Marry You," and they won a CMA Award for Vocal Duo of the Year.
Jim Ed leaves behind his wife of 52 years, Becky, and two adult children.
Aaron Van Riper, a volunteer firefighter in Texas, responded to a 911 call on Saturday about a car wreck -- only to discover his wife and son in the car. His wife remains hospitalized. The heartbreaking story has been all over the media, and a family friend set up a GoFundMe page to help pay the medical bills.
The tally is close to $100,000, thanks in no small part to the 15 grand that Taylor pledged.
Jimi Westbrook says, "We are honored to host this incredible party for another year. We look forward to this week all year long, and being able to spend all four days with the fans is just incredible. Big thanks to ABC and the CMA for having us back!”
They made the announcement this morning at the ribbon cutting for the festival, which goes on through Sunday.
CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock airs on August 4th on ABC. And here is a blooper real from the event last year..