1944 - present
Inducted in 2019
Great, great grandson of famed German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Sir Bertie Higgins is a jewel of Florida’s diverse artistic history and a “Trop Rock” legend. In his youth, Higgins supported himself as a sponge diver, ventriloquist and musician in his hometown of Tarpon Springs. He toured internationally with the band The Roemans before returning home to Florida to hone his musical craft. He traveled the state as a singer/songwriter and was fortunate to befriend many prominent stars including Cat Stevens, Gordon Lightfoot and Jimmy Buffet. He was nominated to the Florida Artists Hall of Fame by his good friend, mentor and fellow Hall of Famer, the late Burt Reynolds. Higgins cites these influences as sources of inspiration for his music and development as an artist.
Higgins moved to Atlanta in 1980 and became a music superstar almost overnight, releasing hit singles like Key Largo, Casablanca, and Just Another Day in Paradise. Since then, he has released 24 albums, toured the globe and received many international awards, including Knight Commander for Germany, the Mozart Music Award and an honorary PhD from Hanover University. He served on the board of governors of the Atlanta Chapter of the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (The Grammy Awards) for several years and was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH as well as displayed in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon, GA.
He is also a noted philanthropist, raising more than $500,000 during the Dreams Can Come True charity concert in Hong Kong and hosting benefit concerts to protect coastal wildlife and historic lighthouses near his hometown of Tarpon Springs. Other supported charities include the American Cancer Society, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary and the Anclote Key State Park.
Higgins is father to three sons and a daughter, whom he fondly mentions on his website, and he personally manages his international fan club, The Boneheads. Higgins’ musical mantra is: "Make the best of today lest tomorrow never comes,” and he is a great point of pride and acclaim for the state of Florida.