For country music artists everywhere, an induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors one can receive. Since it was conceived in 1961 by the Country Music Association, it has a total of 139 inductees in its hallowed circles as of 2019.

Only three inductees are named each year - one for each of its categories. It often takes a significant contribution to the genre, with some spending their entire lives, to achieve, or to be a part of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Some inductees have quite aged by the time they receive their honor.

For more about the rare instances of receiving this honor earlier than most, here are three of the youngest living inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame:

Eddy Arnold - 48 years old

At 48 years old, most people would have questions about being "young." However, if anything, it only goes to show how strict the Country Music Association is about its Hall of Fame. In 1966, Richard Edward "Eddy" Arnold became the youngest inductee ever to receive the honor.

The Nashville sound innovator of the 1950s wrote and performed 147 songs in the Billboard country charts. A Grand Ole Opry alumnus, Eddy Arnold is credited for the song "Make the World Go Away" and "What's He Doing in My World. Even in his later years, he announced himself as "semi-retired," yet continued creating music.

By 1992, he was among the best-selling country artists with 85 million records sold. He died on May 8, 2008, seven days before what would have been his 90th birthday, from natural causes.

Johnny Cash - 48 years old

By 1980, country icon Johnny Cash would also be inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame at 48 years old. However, Cash went down in history, not just as a country artist. He was basically an icon of American music - with his induction to the Halls of Fame in Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music. His calm, soothing voice, which covered multiple genres, became one of his permanent trademarks in music history.

Johnny Cash Mourned At Country Hall Of Fame
(Photo : Photo by Rusty Russell/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 14: A black shroud and roses adorn the plaque marking Johnny Cash's 1980 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame September 14, 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee. Cash died in a Nashville hospital on September 12.

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Later, Johnny Cash became known as "The Man in Black" for his all-black outfits. The visually and musically distinct Cash also regularly held free prison concerts. Some of his performances were recorded and later released as chart-topping live albums. "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison" in 1968 and "Johnny Cash at San Quentin" in 1969 both topped the US country album charts.

He also performed as a member of the country supergroup The Highwayman by the time of his induction. Together with fellow country legends Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings.

Chet Atkins - 49 years old

Known as "Mr. Guitar" and "The Country Gentleman," Chester Burton Atkins was one of the first inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The master of the strings behind the Nashville sound was proficient with the mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and ukulele. His weapon of choice and signature remains the guitars, which he perfected with a signature picking technique.

The Luttrell, Tennessee native was inducted in 1973, being 49 years old at the time. Aside from Country Music's highest honor, Chet Atkins was also posthumously inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was awarded the honor in 2002, almost a year after he passed away on June 30, 2001.