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Contact: Meredith Beatrice, 850.245.6522

Florida Artists Hall of Fame to Induct Four Accomplished Artists

Tallahassee –

Secretary of State Ken Detzner is pleased to announce the selection of singer/songwriter Billy Dean, guitarist Don Felder, poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins and entertainer Jim Stafford for induction into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. The artists will be inducted in a ceremony to be held on February 23, 2017, at the annual Convening Culture Conference in Gainesville.

"Induction into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed upon artists by the State of Florida," said Secretary Detzner. "We are fortunate to have these four artists that have brought tremendous distinction to our state through their careers and tireless devotion to their crafts. Their work has touched and inspired countless people, and it is fitting that we honor them for their influence and brilliance."

Billy Dean, Quincy (1962 -)
GRAMMY® AWARD winner Billy Dean's insightful songwriting, clear and distinctive voice and masterful instrumental gifts have earned him accolades from many awards academies and countless devoted fans. He has sold more than 5 million albums with 11 top 10 singles and 5 number one hits.

Don Felder, Gainesville (1944 - )
Mr. Felder was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. He was a member of the band "The Eagles" and is a 4 time GRAMMY® AWARD winner, a member of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, and is a New York Times Bestselling author.

Lee Bennett Hopkins, Cape Coral (1938 - )
Lee's contributions to the arts in Florida and nationally are extraordinary-from his founding of the annual Lee Bennett Hopkins Writing Institute for Children at Edison (now South Western State College) to his recent nomination (and runner-up status) as Florida's poet laureate demonstrate both his love for poetry and this state.

Jim Stafford, Winter Haven (1944 - )
Jim Stafford is an American comedian, musician, and singer-songwriter. Best known for his humorous country novelty songs of the mid-'70s, multi-instrumentalist Jim Stafford also enjoyed a lengthy career as a television personality and live entertainer. He had his own one-man variety show on prime time television in 1975, wrote 3 songs for the Disney movie "The Fox and the Hound," and owned his own theatre in Branson, Missouri, where he performed over 350 shows a year.

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About the Florida Artists Hall of Fame
Established by the Florida Legislature in 1986, the Florida Artists Hall of Fame recognizes persons, living or deceased, who have made significant contributions to the arts in Florida either as performing or practicing artists in their disciplines. These individuals contribute to Florida's national and international reputation as a state with a sustained commitment to the development of cultural excellence. The Florida Artists Hall of Fame currently consists of more than 50 inductees, including musician and performer Ray Charles, actor and director Burt Reynolds, writers Zora Neale Hurston, Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway, filmmaker Victor Nunez, and visual artists Duane Hanson, Robert Rauschenberg and James Rosenquist.

For more information about the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, visit dos.myflorida.com/cultural/programs/florida-artists-hall-of-fame/.

About the Division of Cultural Affairs
The Florida Department of State's Division of Cultural Affairs is Florida's legislatively designated state arts agency. The Division promotes the arts and culture as essential to quality of life for all Floridians. To achieve its mission, the Division funds and supports cultural programs that provide artistic excellence, diversity, education, access and economic vitality for Florida's communities. For more information, visit dos.myflorida.com/cultural/.