NC Music Hall of Fame announces 2021 inductees

Press release from North Carolina Music Hall of Fame

After a long year of waiting to honor its 2020 class of inductees, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame will hold inductions for its 2020 and 2021 class on Thursday, October 21, 2021 in Kannapolis, N.C. The 2020 inductees, announced last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, included six nationally-known and award-winning legends from North Carolina: The Briarhoppers, Jermaine Dupri, Donald Lawrence, Michael T. Mauldin, Charles Whitfield and the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

The annual ceremony, which normally takes place the third Thursday of every October, was postponed and ultimately cancelled due to the pandemic. To this, the NCMHOF will host its first ever double induction, which will include the 2021 inductees Tony Rice and Robert Moog.

The honors will be commemorated in a live event which will take place at the historic Gem Theatre in Kannapolis, N.C. The event is open to the public and arrivals to the red carpet will begin at 6 p.m. The evening will include live performances as the inductees are installed into the Hall of Fame. Tickets are available for purchase now at

Below is a full list of the honorees:

THE BRIARHOPPERS (Charlotte) – Oldest continuing bluegrass group in the world. The band formed in Charlotte in 1934 at WBT studios as their first house band to play live on radio.

DONALD LAWRENCE (Gastonia) – Grammy Award-winning gospel music songwriter, record producer, vocal coach and recording artist who has won multiple Stellar Awards. Lawrence was musical director of the super talented Tri-City Singers.

CHARLES WHITFIELD (Greensboro) – Music producer, executive and A&R executive/investor of Hidden Beach Recordings and currently Manager of Community Relations at Lowe’s Companies Inc.

JERMAINE DUPRI (Asheville) – Grammy Award-winning producer, hip-hop artist, songwriter and record executive. Dupri is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and is known for his successful record label So So Def.

MICHAEL T. MAULDIN (Murphy) – Co-Founder of the Black American Music Association, as well as co-founder of the Black Music Entertainment Walk of Fame. Former president of the Black Music division at Columbia Records, and former senior vice president of the Columbia Record Group, entertainment executive and live event producer and CEO of Scream Nation, a concert venture with Live Nation Entertainment. He is a talent manager and father of recording artist/producer/songwriter and fellow inductee Jermaine Dupri.

THE SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS (Chapel Hill) – Jazz band formed in 1993 in Chapel Hill who reached commercial success during the swing revival during the late 1990s. Appearances by the group included the Presidential inaugural ball and television shows such as “The Tonight Show,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” Conan O’Brien and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”

TONY RICE (Reidsville) – Award-winning guitarist, bluegrass musician, singer and composer. Rice redefined bluegrass guitar-playing and left a lasting print on the genre.

ROBERT MOOG (Asheville) – Engineering physicist and pioneer of electronic music for more than 50 years. Moog was the founder of Moog Music and the inventor of the first commercial synthesizer, the Moog synthesizer, which debuted in 1964 and revolutionized every genre of music.

The NCMHOF has also selected two past inductees who will be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards. Tony Brown and Roberta Flack will be recognized for their lifetime of achievements in the music industry and their massive contributions to American music over several decades.

TONY BROWN (Greensboro) – Grammy Award-winning record producer and pianist, known primarily for his work in country music. Brown co-founded Universal South Records and is the former president of MCA Records Nashville — a title he held for nearly a decade. Brown produced numerous hits by artist like George Strait, Reba McEntire and Vince Gill. He has won seven Academy of Country Music awards, including Producer of the Year, multiple CMA awards and he has many gold, platinum and multi-platinum album credits.

ROBERTA FLACK (Black Mountain) – Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who is the only solo artist to win a Grammy for Record of the Year for two consecutive years. Flack is a humanitarian, mentor and founder of the Roberta Flack School of Music at the Hyde Leadership Charter School in the Bronx, providing an innovative and inspiring music education program to underprivileged students free of charge. She also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.

The NCMHOF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its mission is to recognize, promote, and commemorate musicians, singers, songwriters, and producers from the state of N.C. The NCMHOF has a museum located in Kannapolis N.C. Learn more at

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