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About the Inductees

Widespread Panic – 2008 Group

Widespread Panic, founded in Athens, GA in 1986, is a national touring force that has landed in Pollstar’s top 50 tours of the year for the past decade, has sold 3 million albums and played over 2,374 shows over their career. Despite thousands of concerts, the band has managed to never perform the same set list twice. The band released their 10th studio album, Free Somehow, in February 2008 via their own Widespread Records and has a catalogue of 19 albums to date that includes 8 live albums and 1 compilation.

Ludacris – 2008 Performer

Christopher Bridges, better known by his stage name Ludacris, is a three-time GRAMMY® winning American rapper and actor. Along with his manager, Chaka Zulu, Ludacris is the co-founder of Disturbing tha Peace, an imprint distributed by Def Jam Recordings. Since his initial breakthrough, Ludacris has maintained his status in the world of hip-hop as well as achieved a successful career in the film and television industry.

Hamp Swain – 2008 Non Performer

One of the first African-American deejays in Georgia, Hampton "Hamp" Swain was known as "King Bee" or "The King" and promoted Georgia Music on his radio broadcast locally and nationally. His daily broadcasts reached thousands and helped begin the careers of Little Richard, James Brown and Otis Redding. His influence, intuition and encouragement affected music as we know it today.

Fred & Dinah Gretsch – 2008 Mary Tallent 'Pioneer'

Fred and Dinah Gretsch are president and CFO of The Gretsch Company, one of the world's most well-known drum and guitar makers. Founded in 1883 by Frederich Gretsch, the Gretsch Company is celebrating its 125th Anniversary. Gretsch guitars have been played by artists including George Harrison, Chet Atkins, Bo Diddley, Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow and many others. The Gretsch Foundation donates hundreds of instruments to schools to help with their fundraising needs. From 1996 to 2006 they donated $250,000 to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon.

Keith Sweat – 2008 Songwriter

Keith Sweat is an American R&B/Soul, singer-songwriter, record producer and a major contributor to the New Jack swing era. In 1995, Sweat discovered the Atlanta based female R&B group Kut Klose. In 1997, The American Music Awards voted him Favorite Male R&B Soul Artist.

Dottie Rambo – 2008 Posthumous

DOTTIE RAMBO, indefatigable songwriter, renowned recording artist and reigning Queen of Gospel Music, has written more than 2,500 songs. A GRAMMY® Winner; ASCAP Lifetime Achievement Award, Gospel Music Hall of Fame member, singer and prolific songwriter, Rambo wrote songs for artists including, Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Carol Channing, Sandy Patti, Andrae Crouch, Bill Gaither, Vince Gill, and Barbara Mandrell. Dottie passed away on May 11, 2008.