Country Music Hall of Fame Songwriter Dean Dillon Says George Strait ‘Changed My Life Forever’
Country songwriter Dean Dillon has his name on songs by Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack and numerous other country stars. Upon the announcement of his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Wednesday (Aug. 12), the tunesmith joked that Chris Stapleton's version of "Tennessee Whiskey" will fund his retirement. None are as big a part of his lauded career, however, as George Strait.
"There’s a lot of people that go to Dean for songs," Strait told MusicRow in 2017, "But I don’t know how many of ’em have his songs on every record they ever recorded."
Dillon co-wrote Strait's very first charting single, "Unwound," and the country music icon has recorded more than 70 other of Dillon's works. In a video message about his Hall of Fame induction, the songwriter calls Strait "the man who changed my life forever."
"What a friendship, what a songship," Dillon reflects of his partnership with Strait. "There's not enough words of gratitude to express my deepest thanks for the magical voice you put to my music ..."
Among the artists, publishers, fellow songwriters and other country music industry players Dillon thanks in his video are Strait's wife Norma and the couple's son, Bubba. Bubba Strait is also a songwriter, and has written with Dillon for his father.
"I wanna make it clear that this is by no means all about me," Dillon says of his Country Music Hall of Fame induction. "There's so many, many people responsible for me being here."
Dillon is one of three members of the Country Music Hall of Fame's Class of 2020, along with Hank Williams, Jr. and Marty Stuart. All three men will officially join the Hall of Fame later this year during a to-be-announced ceremony.
Each new Hall of Fame member is inducted by a fellow Hall of Famer. There is no word on if Strait, who joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006, will be the one to induct Dillon.
Here's All 142 Country Music Hall of Fame Members: