Lee Greenwood to Star at 60th Anniversary Neewollah Concert with Added Attraction Kyle Dillingham, October 27 at Memorial Hall

 

Lee Greenwood to Star at 60th Anniversary Neewollah Concert with Added Attraction Kyle Dillingham, October 27 at Memorial Hall

The nine day Halloween themed festival will also feature the festival’s co-founder, Jim Halsey, as Grand Marshal of the Grand Parade on October 27

The Neewollah Festival will celebrate its 60th Anniversary from October 19-27, in downtown Independence, Kansas. The famous nine day Halloween themed festival will feature live theatrical productions, concerts, three different parades, 5K/10K fun runs, pageants, a carnival, a chili cook off, vendors, food and more.

Neewollah was revived into a multi-day celebration in 1958 by legendary music impresario and Independence, Kansas native, Jim Halsey, along with Jerry Webb, Bob Wohltman, and Don Dancer. The first Neewollah celebration actually dates all the way back to 1919 as an effort to provide positive activities for kids of all ages in place of the typical Halloween pranks that occurred in the community. In the beginning the events centered on parades of decorated cars and carriages during the morning, afternoon, and night on October 31.

In 1981 HBO produced a music special from Neewollah – also organized by Jim Halsey, Sherman Halsey, and directed by award winner Marty Calliner – starring Roy Clark, Merle Haggard, Ronnie Milsap, Johnny Lee, Charlie Rich and Lacy J Dalton. Other stars that have headlined the festival over the years have been Don Williams, Mel Tillis, BJ Thomas, Roy Clark, Oak Ridge Boys, Reba McEntire, Ray Price, and The Bellamy Brothers.

Today, Neewollah is the largest annual celebration in Kansas. The city of Independence will grow from a town of just under 10,000 inhabitants to 75,000 in the final days of the now 10-day celebration. Today’s celebration now includes 3 parades, a Doo Dah Parade (adult Kiddie Parade), a Kiddies Parade and a Grand Parade. Other activities include a chili cook-off, a hometown musical, and a queen’s pageant also adds to the festival activities. The main downtown is filled with a variety of food vendors, a large carnival and bandstand for nightly entertainment. The arts and craft show, the band competition, and the fun run provide activities for everyone.

The Neewollah Festival will conclude on Saturday, October 27 with the Grand Parade, featuring the festival’s co-founder Jim Halsey as the Grand Marshal, followed by a concert that evening with iconic Country music star, Lee Greenwood, along with Americana performer Kyle Dillingham at Memorial Hall. This will mark Lee Greenwood’s third appearance at the Neewollah Festival.

Grammy award winner Lee Greenwood has more than 30 albums to his credit, seven #1 songs, 25 charted singles, and a CMA Song of the Year award in 1985 for his most recognizable, and patriotic song, “God Bless the USA.” Other hits from him include “It Turns Me Inside Out,” “ Ring on her Finger Time on her Hands,” “She’s Lying,” “ I Don’t Mind the Thorns if You’re the Rose,” “Dixie Road,” “Somebody’s Gonna Love You,” “Going, Going Gone,” “You Got a Good Love Comin,” “Fools Gold,” and “ Mornin’ Ride.”

Also joining on the stage that evening will be Oklahoma’s official musical ambassador and fiddle extraordinaire, Kyle Dillingham and his band, Horseshoe Road. Dillingham is a classically trained fiddle player who first picked up a violin when he was just nine years old. Eight years later, he gave two featured performances at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Together, Dillingham and his band have represented America internationally in 37 countries. More recently, Dillingham was nominated by the National Endowment for the Arts to officially represent the United States in the NEA’s American Music Abroad program, and performed at the NEA’s awards banquet in Washington D.C. on September 28. This rare opportunity was a huge honor as Kyle Dillingham also paid homage to famed clothing designer, Manuel Cuevas at the ceremony. Kyle, who often wears suits designed by Manuel on stage has formed a friendship and deep respect for Manuel since their first visit together. On stage, Dillingham performs a mix of his band’s original songs, along with classic covers and fiddlin’ favorites that are sure to have audiences on their feet.

For more information, and to buy advance online tickets for the Neewollah Festival, visit www.neewollah.com or the festival’s Facebook Event Page. Help lines for online ticket sales is 620-330-6834 or 620-330-0675, and will be open from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm CT, Monday thru Friday.

About Neewollah Festival:
The Neewollah (“Halloween” spelled backwards) celebration began in 1919 as an effort to provide positive activities for kids of all ages in place of the typical Halloween pranks that occurred in the community of Independence, Kansas. In the beginning the events centered on parades, morning, afternoon, and night on October 31. The parades consisted mainly of decorated cars and carriages. Queens and princesses from area festivals rode in the parades, along with their own Queen Neelah who was selected based on votes bought at a penny each. The Great Depression and World War II interrupted the Neewollah celebration but in 1958 four businessmen revived and elaborated on the Neewollah theme bringing it back as a 3-day celebration featuring big-name music and recording stars.

Live at Billy Bob’s Texas Series Celebrates 20th Anniversary With Some of Country Music’s Biggest Stars’ Recordings

 

LIVE AT BILLY BOB’S TEXAS SERIES
CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY WITH SOME OF
COUNTRY MUSIC’S BIGGEST STARS’ RECORDINGS

Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, The Charlie Daniels Band, Asleep at the Wheel, and David Allan Coe Recordings Turned Into AXS-TV Specials

In 1998, in partnership with Smith Music Group, led by Rick Smith, Sr., Billy Bob’s Texas began recording live performances from select artists taking the stage of the award-winning nightclub to be part of their Live at Billy Bob’s Texas series. The series launched with back to back recordings of Pat Green and Merle Haggard. Now, in 2018, the famed series is celebrating its 20th Anniversary.

“The Live at Billy Bob’s recordings give music fans who haven’t been to The World’s Largest Honky Tonk an opportunity to hear and feel the energy of a live show,” says Billy Bob’s VP of Marketing, Pam Minick. “For those who have experienced it in person, it’s another chance to relive it all over again. The series really captures the diversity of Billy Bob’s as we’ve recorded everything from Texas music newcomers to country music legends.”

Artists who have participated in the series range from national country music stars like Tanya Tucker, Roy Clark, T. Graham Brown, Exile, Johnny Lee, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Collin Raye, Mark Wills, Lynn Anderson, Joe Diffie, Janie Fricke, Earl Thomas Conley, Eddy Raven, Michael Martin Murphey, Doug Stone, T.G. Sheppard and John Conlee to the biggest names on the Texas music scene including Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jack Ingram, Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Kevin Fowler, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers Band, Stoney LaRue, Charlie Robison and more.

Billy Bob’s Texas is known for making cameo appearances in many music videos and several movies, but the Live at Billy Bob’s Texas series made its way to the television screen with Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, The Charlie Daniels Band, Asleep at the Wheel, and David Allan Coe’s concert recordings filmed and aired on AXS-TV, which continue to re-air.

“It was such an honor and thrill to record my CD, Live at Billy Bob’s, because I could take that story all across the country, raving about the biggest honky-tonk in America! – Janie Fricke

“I remember recording my Live at Billy Bob’s project. There was a huge crowd there that night and they were hootin’ & hollerin’. It continues to be one of our best selling CDs and people tell me all the time how much they like it! Thanks to Smith Music Group and Billy Bob’s! – T. Graham Brown

ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC® CELEBRATES ARTISTS, MUSICIANS & MORE AT 11TH ANNUAL ACM HONORS™ AT NASHVILLE’S HISTORIC RYMAN AUDITORIUM 

ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC® CELEBRATES ARTISTS, MUSICIANS & MORE AT 11TH ANNUAL ACM HONORS™ AT
NASHVILLE’S HISTORIC RYMAN AUDITORIUM

MUSICAL TRIBUTE EVENT RECOGNIZED SPECIAL HONOREES & OFF-CAMERA CATEGORY WINNERS FROM THE 52ND ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS™

*    *    *

Two-Hour Special to Air Friday, September 15 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network

NASHVILLE, TN – AUGUST 23: Honorees Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, and George Strait attend the 11th Annual ACM Honors at the Ryman Auditorium on August 23, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for ACM)

Earlier this evening, the Academy of Country Music® presented the 11th Annual ACM Honors™, an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards™. Portions of the event, held at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, were taped for a two-hour special that will air on Friday, September 15 (9:00 – 11:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

The event, sponsored by City National Bank, featured a star-studded lineup of live performances and award presentations celebrating Special Awards recipients Kelsea Ballerini (Gene Weed Milestone Award), Toby Keith (Poet’s Award), Bob Kingsley (Mae Boren Axton Service Award), Reba McEntire (Mae Boren Axton Service Award), “Nashville” (Tex Ritter Film Award), Dolly Parton (Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award), Shel Silverstein (Poet’s Award, awarded posthumously), and George Strait (Cliffie Stone Icon Award). The evening also honored winners of the Industry and Studio Recording Awards, along with Songwriter of the Year Award winner, Lori McKenna. The Academy of Country Music will present trophies to previously announced Special Awards recipients Eric Church (Merle Haggard Spirit Award) and Willie Nelson (Poet’s Award) at a later date.

Highlights from the event include:

  • Hillary Scott opened the evening with a performance of “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” and was then joined by Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild for a powerful duet performance of “Does He Love You” for which they received a standing ovation. The duo then welcomed Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman for a special performance of “Little Rock” in tribute to Reba McEntire. Fairchild, Schlapman, and Scott then presented McEntire with the Mae Boren Axton Service Award.
  • Kelsea Ballerini performed “Legends” before receiving her award, which was presented to her by Lady Antebellum. Following her acceptance speech, Ballerini performed a medley of #1 hits including “Dibs,” “Love Me Like You Mean It,” and “Peter Pan.”
  • Chris Stapleton performed “When Did You Stop Loving Me,” and Alan Jackson performed a medley of “Marina Del Rey” and “The Fireman” in tribute to George Strait before he accepted his award to a standing ovation. Following his acceptance speech, Strait took the stage and performed “Here For A Good Time” to a dancing audience to close out the evening. Reigning Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean presented the award to Strait.
  • Chris Janson performed “A Boy Named Sue” and “Cover of the Rolling Stone” in tribute to Shel Silverstein, who received his award posthumously. Silverstein’s family friend Susan Nadler accepted the award from Janson on Silverstein’s behalf.
  • Toby Keith performed “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” and “Who’s Your Daddy?” after songwriter Jimmy Webb presented him with his award.
  • Maren Morris performed “Galveston” in tribute to the late Glen Campbell.
  • Brad Paisley performed “My Tennessee Mountain Home” in tribute to Dolly Parton.
  • Bobby Bones presented Bob Kingsley with his award, after which Thomas Rhett sang a medley of his hits “Die A Happy Man” and “Craving You.”
  • Songwriter Ross Copperman introduced Little Big Town, who performed “When Someone Stops Loving You,” written by Lori McKenna, before presenting McKenna with the award.
Additional off-camera highlights included:
  • Brett Young presented Studio Recording and Industry Award winners with their awards prior to the show taping.
  • Cassadee Pope presented the television series “Nashville” with the Tex Ritter Film Award. “Nashville” stars Clare Bowen and Charles Esten performed “Sanctuary” in a special moment before CMT’s Frank Tanki, Opry Entertainment’s Steve Buchanan, and Lionsgate’s Russell Ziecker accepted the award.
Presenters who took the stage at the event included Jason Aldean, Bobby Bones, Ross Copperman, Chris Janson, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Brad Paisley, Cassadee Pope, Hillary Scott, Jimmy Webb, and Brett Young.Below is a full list of special award recipients:

SPECIAL AWARDS

Cliffie Stone ICON Award – George Strait has been chosen to receive the Cliffie Stone Icon Award. This award is presented to a country music artist, duo/group or industry leader who throughout their career has advanced the popularity of the genre through their contributions in multiple facets of the industry such as songwriting, recording, production, touring, film, television, literary works, philanthropic contributions and other goodwill efforts.

With 61 No. 1 singles under his belt, George Strait has captivated the charts for longer than any other artist in any genre. Winning his first ACM Award for 1984’s Male Vocalist of the Year, “King George” went on to build his country kingdom one great song at a time. Now-classic hits like “Amarillo by Morning,” “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” “The Fireman,” “The Chair” and “Give It Away” established Strait’s smooth voice and no-nonsense style, making his live show a must-see event. Strait is one of the best-selling artists of all time with 100 million albums sold worldwide. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and was named the Academy’s Dick Clark Artist of the Decade in 2009.  Though he officially retired from the road after his Cowboy Rides Away tour wrapped in 2014, Strait continues to pack houses at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with his “2 Nights of Number 1s” show featuring all his number one hits performed live.

The Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award has been renamed the Cliffie Stone Icon Award.

Past recipients of the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award include Alabama, Bob Beckham, Garth Brooks, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Crystal Gayle, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, The Judds,  Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Jerry Reed, Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins, Kenny Rogers, Billy Sherrill, Ricky Skaggs, The Statler Brothers, Mel Tillis, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty, Porter Wagoner, Keith Whitley, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Bob Wills and Dwight Yoakam, among others.

GARY HABER LIFTING LIVES AWARD – Dolly Parton has been chosen to receive the Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award. This award is presented to a country music artist, duo/group or industry professional who is devoted to improving lives through the power of music, has a generosity of spirit, and is committed to serving others, voted on by the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors.

Dolly Parton has held many titles over her storied 50-year career – singer, songwriter, actress, legend—but philanthropist is one that is close to her heart. Since her earliest days of stardom, Dolly has used her celebrity to support the causes she loves most. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library has to date provided 100 million books to preschool children in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. In 2016, Parton stepped up to raise money for victims of the massive wildfires in her native East Tennessee. Hosting Smoky Mountains Rise, a three-hour telethon, Dolly helped raise more than $10 million for the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund, which provided money for temporary housing for families that lost their homes in the fires.

The Humanitarian Award has been renamed/incorporated into the existing Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award.

Past recipients of the Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award and Humanitarian Award include Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Lonestar, Martina McBride, Neal McCoy, Reba McEntire, Montgomery Gentry, Rascal Flatts, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood.

GENE WEED MILESTONE AWARD – Kelsea Ballerini has been chosen as the recipient of the Gene Weed Milestone Award. This award is presented to a country music artist, duo/group or industry leader for a specific, unprecedented or outstanding achievement in the field of country music during the preceding calendar year.

Kelsea Ballerini went straight to the top of the charts with her first single, 2014’s “Love Me Like You Mean It.” Her self-penned debut was just the beginning of her winning streak. Her next two singles, 2015’s “Dibs” and 2016’s “Peter Pan,” also went to No. 1, making Ballerini the first female solo artist to have three consecutive No. 1 singles from a debut album since Wynonna Judd in 1992.  Ballerini was named the ACM New Female Vocalist of the Year for 2015, was nominated for Best New Artist at the 59th Grammy Awards and came in at No. 2 on the Forbes “30 Under 30 – Music” list. Having wrapped up her first headlining tour, aptly titled “The First Time Tour,” Ballerini is currently working on a new album and is hitting the road with Thomas Rhett on his 2017 Home Team Tour.

The Crystal Milestone Award and Gene Weed Special Achievement Awards have been combined and renamed the Gene Weed Milestone Award.

Past recipients of the Crystal Milestone Award and the Gene Weed Milestone Award include Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, George Burns, Kenny Chesney, Jeff Foxworthy, Merle Haggard, Gayle Holcomb, Loretta Lynn, Little Big Town, Willie Nelson, Jennifer Nettles, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood.

Mae Boren Axton SERVICE Award – Bob Kingsley and Reba McEntire have been chosen as the recipients of the Mae Boren Axton Service Award. This award is presented to an outstanding country music artist, duo/group or industry leader in recognition of years of dedication and service to the Academy of Country Music.

One of the most recognizable radio voices in the world, Bob Kingsley has been a friend to both country fans and country artists for generations. As host and executive producer of Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40, the Texas resident has been inducted into both the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame. Early in his career as a young disc jockey at KFOX in Los Angeles, Kingsley became involved with the fledgling Academy of Country and Western Music, which would eventually be called the Academy of Country Music. He won the Academy’s On-Air Personality of the Year award for 1966 and 1967. He was first elected to the Academy’s board of directors in 1967. He has since won a third ACM trophy for National On-Air Personality of the Year (2006) and continues to serve on the board today, making Kingsley the Academy’s longest-serving board member.

For more than 30 years Reba McEntire has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Academy of Country Music. Hosting her first ACM Awards in 1986 at Knott’s Berry Farm, McEntire has returned to the ACM stage as a host for a record 14 times—-eight of those solo. A 14-time ACM Award winner (including 7 as ACM Female Vocalist of the Year), Reba has also been an avid supporter of the Academy’s charitable efforts, donating her time and talents to numerous ACM specials and other events supporting ACM Lifting Lives. In 2017, Reba partnered with the Academy and Omaze to offer a fan a chance to meet her backstage in Vegas, with proceeds from the auction going to ACM Lifting Lives.

The Mae Boren Axton Award has been renamed the Mae Boren Axton Service Award.

Past recipients of the Mae Boren Axton Award include Barry Adelman, John Dorris, Tim DuBois, Rod Essig, Gayle Holcomb, Jack Lameier, Marge Meoli, Paul Moore, Ray Pilzak, Gaynelle Pitts, Keith Urban, Gene Weed, Tommy Wiggins and David Young.

MERLE HAGGARD SPIRIT AWARD – Eric Church has been chosen to receive the Merle Haggard Spirit Award. This award is presented to a singer-songwriter who is continuing the legacy of country legend and 20-time ACM Award Winner Merle Haggard by following his/her own path, crafting great songs and epitomizing Merle’s spirit through genuine performances and great storytelling.

Over 12 years and five studio albums, Eric Church has established himself as an artist who stays true to an uncompromising path. As an intense performer and songwriter, he has brought to life the eternal themes of life, love and heartbreak in his own hellraising way through songs like “Smoke a Little Smoke,” “Springsteen,” “Give Me Back My Hometown” and “Record Year.” He has also bucked convention in the way his recorded and live music is delivered. He surprised fans—and the media—with his 2015 album, Mr. Misunderstood, which landed in the mailboxes of his fan club members without any promotion first before going out to the general public and the media the next day. For the 2017 60-city “Holdin’ My Own Tour,” Church went out solo without a support act and played two sets himself. Church holds five ACM awards, including Album of the Year, Vocal Event of the Year, Video of the Year, New Solo Vocalist of the Year and the ACM Jim Reeves International Award.

Past recipients of the Merle Haggard Spirit Award include Miranda Lambert.

Poet’s Award – Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and Shel Silverstein (awarded posthumously) have been chosen to receive the Poet’s Award. This award is presented to a country music songwriter for outstanding and longstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their career, with special consideration given to a song or songs’ impact on the culture of country music.

Toby Keith has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and is routinely cited as one of country’s top businessmen with bars, restaurants, race horses and golf courses to his name, but it’s his accolades as a songwriter than mean the most to the Oklahoma native. Keith began writing as a teenager and charted his first self-penned No. 1 with his debut single, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” Since then, he has pretty much ignored the Nashville tradition of cutting Music Row writers’ songs and personally written or co-written just about every song he’s ever recorded. Among the highlights of his two-decade hit-making career are blue-collar anthems “How Do You Like Me Now,” “Beer for My Horses,” “I Love This Bar” and “American Soldier.” A 12-time ACM Award winner, Keith was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.

Willie Nelson is an American treasure, and the songs he has written will stand the test of time. Writing since the age of six, the Texas native has penned tunes that are part of the very foundation of country music. His credits as a songwriter include classics for other artists including “Crazy” (Patsy Cline), “Funny How Time Slips Away” (Ray Price) and “Hello Walls” (Faron Young). He co-wrote the outlaw anthem “Good-Hearted Woman” with his friend Waylon Jennings. Nelson’s signature song, “On the Road Again,” won the Grammy for Best Country Song in 1980. Willie was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001.

The late Shel Silverstein (awarded posthumously) is known the world over as the offbeat poet and cartoonist behind beloved children’s books Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree, but he was also an accomplished songwriter. Silverstein penned inventive songs about unusual characters for a variety of artists, including “One’s On the Way” for Loretta Lynn, “Marie Laveau” for Bobby Bare and the classic rock anthem “Cover of the Rolling Stone” for Dr. Hook. He brought his madcap imagination to the song, “A Boy Named Sue,” which became a No. 1 hit for Johnny Cash. The song won the 1969 Grammy for Best Country Song. Silverstein died of a heart attack in 1999 at the age of 68. He was posthumously inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Previous recipients of the Poet’s Award include Bill Anderson, Bobby Braddock, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, Guy Clark, Jack Clement, Hank Cochran, Dean Dillon, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, Harlan Howard, Kris Kristofferson, Bob McDill, Roger Miller, Buck Owens, Eddie Rabbitt (awarded posthumously), Fred Rose, Don Schlitz, Cindy Walker, Jimmy Webb and Hank Williams.

Tex Ritter FILM Award – “Nashville” has been chosen as the recipient of the Tex Ritter Film Award. This award recognizes an outstanding television movie, series or feature film released during the preceding calendar year which prominently features country music.

Now in its fifth season, “Nashville” continues to tell Music Row’s stories to a world-wide audience. Airing domestically on CMT and Hulu, the hour-long drama is seen in 225 territories around the globe. Main characters Deacon Clayborne, Will Lexington, Avery Barkley, Gunnar Scott and Scarlett O’Connor have made real-life music stars out of actors Charles Esten, Chris Carmack, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio and Claire Bowen. The cast has released 17 soundtrack albums on Big Machine Records and has toured regularly, playing to sold-out crowds in both the United States and abroad. The show has been credited as part of the recent tourism boom in the city of Nashville, which has seen an amazing increase in visitors over the past five years.

Past recipients of the Tex Ritter Film Award include Beer For My Horses, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Country Strong, Crazy Heart, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, O Brother, Where Art Thou, Sweet Dreams and Walk the Line, among others.

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD – Previously announced winner Lori McKenna – the first female to win this category ­– has been chosen as the recipient of the Songwriter of the Year Award. This award is presented to an individual known predominately as a songwriter, selected by a Professional Panel of judges composed of songwriters, publishers, producers, and performing rights organization representatives.

Lori McKenna has never lived in Nashville, yet she’s gradually become one of the most sought-after co-writers in Music City. At her kitchen table in Stoughton, Massachusetts, she wrote a heartfelt message to her five kids in the form of “Humble and Kind.” Tim McGraw carried the song to No. 1, and it also led to McKenna winning her second consecutive Grammy for Country Song of the Year. The first one was for Little Big Town’s triple-platinum single, “Girl Crush.” One of McKenna’s earliest champions was Faith Hill, who recorded “Stealing Kisses” for 2005’s Fireflies. McKenna continued recording her own albums as more stars cut her songs, including Hunter Hayes (“I Want Crazy”) and Keith Urban (“The Luxury of Knowing”). She released a new album, The Bird & The Rifle, in 2016. The project received a Grammy nod for Best Americana Album, while “Wreck You” was up for Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song. She is a co-writer on Little Big Town’s new single, “Happy People.”

Past recipients of the Songwriter of the Year Award include Ross Copperman, Dallas Davidson, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Roger Miller.

INDUSTRY AWARDS

  • CASINO OF THE YEAR – SMALL CAPACITY: Foxwoods Resort and Casino – Mashantucket, CT
  • CASINO OF THE YEAR – MEDIUM CAPACITY: The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV
  • FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR: Tortuga Music Festival – Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • NIGHTCLUB OF THE YEAR: Joe’s Live – Rosemont, IL
  • VENUE OF THE YEAR – SMALL CAPACITY: Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
  • VENUE OF THE YEAR – MEDIUM CAPACITY: Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
  • VENUE OF THE YEAR – LARGE CAPACITY: Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN
  • DON ROMEO TALENT BUYER OF THE YEAR: Lenore Kinder – AEG Live
  • PROMOTER OF THE YEAR – Ed Warm – Joe’s Live
STUDIO RECORDING AWARDS
(Note: ** Indicates a tie.)
  • BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Glenn Worf
  • DRUMMER OF THE YEAR – Miles McPherson
  • GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Tom Bukovac & Danny Rader**
  • PIANO/KEYBOARDS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Dave Cohen
  • SPECIALTY INSTRUMENT(S) PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Dan Dugmore
  • STEEL GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Dan Dugmore
  • AUDIO ENGINEER OF THE YEAR – Chuck Ainlay
  • PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – Jay Joyce

Academy of Country Music Announces Special Award Honorees

ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC® ANNOUNCES SPECIAL AWARD HONOREES
KELSEA BALLERINI, ERIC CHURCH, TOBY KEITH, BOB KINGSLEY, REBA McENTIRE, “NASHVILLE,” WILLIE NELSON, DOLLY PARTON, SHEL SILVERSTEIN AND GEORGE STRAIT

ACM HONORS™ TV SPECIAL TO TAPE AUGUST 23RD
FOR BROADCAST AT A LATER DATE ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
FOR 2ND CONSECUTIVE YEAR

 

The Academy of Country Music® announced today the winners of the Special Awards for the 52nd ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS™. Honorees will be celebrated during the 11th ANNUAL ACM HONORS™, an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards. The event will take place Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN and will be broadcast at a later date on the CBS Television Network.

Additional off-camera categories to be feted at ACM HONORS include to-be-announced Industry Awards and Studio Recording Awards, along with previously announced Songwriter of the Year Award winner, Lori McKenna. McKenna is the first female to win in the ACM Songwriter of the Year category.

The Academy of Country Music Special Awards are voted on by the ACM Board of Directors for specific achievements. Please note that titles of select Special Awards have been updated, as noted within each category listed below. Recipients of Special Awards for the 11th Annual ACM HONORS include:

 

Cliffie Stone ICON Award – George Strait has been chosen to receive the Cliffie Stone Icon Award. This award is presented to a country music artist, duo/group or industry leader who throughout their career has advanced the popularity of the genre through their contributions in multiple facets of the industry such as songwriting, recording, production, touring, film, television, literary works, philanthropic contributions and other goodwill efforts.

With 61 No. 1 singles under his belt, George Strait has captivated the charts for longer than any other artist in any genre. Winning his first ACM Award for 1984’s Male Vocalist of the Year, “King George” went on to build his country kingdom one great song at a time. Now-classic hits like “Amarillo by Morning,” “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” “The Fireman,” “The Chair” and “Give It Away” established Strait’s smooth voice and no-nonsense style, making his live show a must-see event. Strait is one of the best-selling artists of all time with 100 million albums sold worldwide. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and was named the Academy’s Dick Clark Artist of the Decade in 2009. Though he officially retired from the road after his Cowboy Rides Away tour wrapped in 2014, Strait continues to pack houses at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with his “2 Nights of Number 1s” show featuring all his number one hits performed live.

The Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award has been renamed the Cliffie Stone Icon Award.

Past recipients of the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award include Alabama, Bob Beckham, Garth Brooks, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Crystal Gayle, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, The Judds, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Jerry Reed, Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins, Kenny Rogers, Billy Sherrill, Ricky Skaggs, The Statler Brothers, Mel Tillis, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty, Porter Wagoner, Keith Whitley, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Bob Wills and Dwight Yoakam, among others.

GARY HABER LIFTING LIVES AWARD – Dolly Parton has been chosen to receive the Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award. This award is presented to a country music artist, duo/group or industry professional who is devoted to improving lives through the power of music, has a generosity of spirit, and is committed to serving others, voted on by the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors.

Dolly Parton has held many titles over her storied 50-year career – singer, songwriter, actress, legend—but philanthropist is one that is close to her heart. Since her earliest days of stardom, Dolly has used her celebrity to support the causes she loves most. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library has to date provided 100 million books to preschool children in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. In 2016, Parton stepped up to raise money for victims of the massive wildfires in her native East Tennessee. Hosting Smoky Mountains Rise, a three-hour telethon, Dolly helped raise more than $10 million for the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund, which provided money for temporary housing for families that lost their homes in the fires.

The Humanitarian Award has been renamed/incorporated into the existing Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award.

Past recipients of the Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award and Humanitarian Award include Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Lonestar, Martina McBride, Neal McCoy, Reba McEntire, Montgomery Gentry, Rascal Flatts, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood.

GENE WEED MILESTONE AWARD – Kelsea Ballerini has been chosen as the recipient of the Gene Weed Milestone Award. This award is presented to a country music artist, duo/group or industry leader for a specific, unprecedented or outstanding achievement in the field of country music during the preceding calendar year.

Kelsea Ballerini went straight to the top of the charts with her first single, 2014’s “Love Me Like You Mean It.” Her self-penned debut was just the beginning of her winning streak. Her next two singles, 2015’s “Dibs” and 2016’s “Peter Pan,” also went to No. 1, making Ballerini the first female solo artist to have three consecutive No. 1 singles from a debut album since Wynonna Judd in 1992. Ballerini was named the ACM New Female Vocalist of the Year for 2015, was nominated for Best New Artist at the 59th Grammy Awards and came in at No. 2 on the Forbes “30 Under 30 – Music” list. Having wrapped up her first headlining tour, aptly titled “The First Time Tour,” Ballerini is currently working on a new album and is hitting the road with Thomas Rhett on his 2017 Home Team Tour.

The Crystal Milestone Award and Gene Weed Special Achievement Awards have been combined and renamed the Gene Weed Milestone Award.

Past recipients of the Crystal Milestone Award and the Gene Weed Milestone Award include Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, George Burns, Kenny Chesney, Jeff Foxworthy, Merle Haggard, Gayle Holcomb, Loretta Lynn, Little Big Town, Willie Nelson, Jennifer Nettles, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood.

Mae Boren Axton SERVICE Award – Bob Kingsley and Reba McEntire have been chosen as the recipients of the Mae Boren Axton Service Award. This award is presented to an outstanding country music artist, duo/group or industry leader in recognition of years of dedication and service to the Academy of Country Music.

One of the most recognizable radio voices in the world, Bob Kingsley has been a friend to both country fans and country artists for generations. As host and executive producer of Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40, the Texas resident has been inducted into both the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame. Early in his career as a young disc jockey at KFOX in Los Angeles, Kingsley became involved with the fledgling Academy of Country and Western Music, which would eventually be called the Academy of Country Music. He won the Academy’s On-Air Personality of the Year award for 1966 and 1967. He was first elected to the Academy’s board of directors in 1967. He has since won a third ACM trophy for National On-Air Personality of the Year (2006) and continues to serve on the board today, making Kingsley the Academy’s longest-serving board member.

For more than 30 years Reba McEntire has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Academy of Country Music. Hosting her first ACM Awards in 1986 at Knott’s Berry Farm, McEntire has returned to the ACM stage as a host for a record 14 times—-eight of those solo. A 14-time ACM Award winner (including 7 as ACM Female Vocalist of the Year), Reba has also been an avid supporter of the Academy’s charitable efforts, donating her time and talents to numerous ACM specials and other events supporting ACM Lifting Lives. In 2017, Reba partnered with the Academy and Omaze to offer a fan a chance to meet her backstage in Vegas, with proceeds from the auction going to ACM Lifting Lives.

The Mae Boren Axton Award has been renamed the Mae Boren Axton Service Award.

Past recipients of the Mae Boren Axton Award include Barry Adelman, John Dorris, Tim DuBois, Rod Essig, Gayle Holcomb, Jack Lameier, Marge Meoli, Paul Moore, Ray Pilzak, Gaynelle Pitts, Keith Urban, Gene Weed, Tommy Wiggins and David Young.

MERLE HAGGARD SPIRIT AWARD – Eric Church has been chosen to receive the Merle Haggard Spirit Award. This award is presented to a singer-songwriter who is continuing the legacy of country legend and 20-time ACM Award Winner Merle Haggard by following his/her own path, crafting great songs and epitomizing Merle’s spirit through genuine performances and great storytelling.

Over 12 years and five studio albums, Eric Church has established himself as an artist who stays true to an uncompromising path. As an intense performer and songwriter, he has brought to life the eternal themes of life, love and heartbreak in his own hellraising way through songs like “Smoke a Little Smoke,” “Springsteen,” “Give Me Back My Hometown” and “Record Year.” He has also bucked convention in the way his recorded and live music is delivered. He surprised fans—and the media—with his 2015 album, Mr. Misunderstood, which landed in the mailboxes of his fan club members without any promotion first before going out to the general public and the media the next day. For the 2017 60-city “Holdin’ My Own Tour,” Church went out solo without a support act and played two sets himself. Church holds five ACM awards, including Album of the Year, Vocal Event of the Year, Video of the Year, New Solo Vocalist of the Year and the ACM Jim Reeves International Award.

Past recipients of the Merle Haggard Spirit Award include Miranda Lambert.

Poet’s Award – Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and Shel Silverstein (awarded posthumously) have been chosen to receive the Poet’s Award. This award is presented to a country music songwriter for outstanding and longstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their career, with special consideration given to a song or songs’ impact on the culture of country music.

Toby Keith has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and is routinely cited as one of country’s top businessmen with bars, restaurants, race horses and golf courses to his name, but it’s his accolades as a songwriter than mean the most to the Oklahoma native. Keith began writing as a teenager and charted his first self-penned No. 1 with his debut single, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” Since then, he has pretty much ignored the Nashville tradition of cutting Music Row writers’ songs and personally written or co-written just about every song he’s ever recorded. Among the highlights of his two-decade hit-making career are blue-collar anthems “How Do You Like Me Now,” “Beer for My Horses,” “I Love This Bar” and “American Soldier.” A 12-time ACM Award winner, Keith was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.

Willie Nelson is an American treasure, and the songs he has written will stand the test of time. Writing since the age of six, the Texas native has penned tunes that are part of the very foundation of country music. His credits as a songwriter include classics for other artists including “Crazy” (Patsy Cline), “Funny How Time Slips Away” (Ray Price) and “Hello Walls” (Faron Young). He co-wrote the outlaw anthem “Good-Hearted Woman” with his friend Waylon Jennings. Nelson’s signature song, “On the Road Again,” won the Grammy for Best Country Song in 1980. Willie was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001.

The late Shel Silverstein (awarded posthumously) is known the world over as the offbeat poet and cartoonist behind beloved children’s books Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree, but he was also an accomplished songwriter. Silverstein penned inventive songs about unusual characters for a variety of artists, including “One’s On the Way” for Loretta Lynn, “Marie Laveau” for Bobby Bare and the classic rock anthem “Cover of the Rolling Stone” for Dr. Hook. He brought his madcap imagination to the song, “A Boy Named Sue,” which became a No. 1 hit for Johnny Cash. The song won the 1969 Grammy for Best Country Song. Silverstein died of a heart attack in 1999 at the age of 68. He was posthumously inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Previous recipients of the Poet’s Award include Bill Anderson, Bobby Braddock, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, Guy Clark, Jack Clement, Hank Cochran, Dean Dillon, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, Harlan Howard, Kris Kristofferson, Bob McDill, Roger Miller, Buck Owens, Eddie Rabbitt (awarded posthumously), Fred Rose, Don Schlitz, Cindy Walker, Jimmy Webb and Hank Williams.

Tex Ritter FILM Award – “Nashville” has been chosen as the recipient of the Tex Ritter Film Award. This award recognizes an outstanding television movie, series or feature film released during the preceding calendar year which prominently features country music.

Now in its fifth season, “Nashville” continues to tell Music Row’s stories to a world-wide audience. Airing domestically on CMT and Hulu, the hour-long drama is seen in 225 territories around the globe. Main characters Deacon Clayborne, Will Lexington, Avery Barkley, Gunnar Scott and Scarlett O’Connor have made real-life music stars out of actors Charles Esten, Chris Carmack, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio and Claire Bowen. The cast has released 17 soundtrack albums on Big Machine Records and has toured regularly, playing to sold-out crowds in both the United States and abroad. The show has been credited as part of the recent tourism boom in the city of Nashville, which has seen an amazing increase in visitors over the past five years.

Past recipients of the Tex Ritter Film Award include Beer For My Horses, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Country Strong, Crazy Heart, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, O Brother, Where Art Thou, Sweet Dreams and Walk the Line, among others.

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD – Previously announced winner Lori McKenna – the first female to win this category – has been chosen as the recipient of the Songwriter of the Year Award. This award is presented to an individual known predominately as a songwriter, selected by a Professional Panel of judges composed of songwriters, publishers, producers, and performing rights organization representatives.

Lori McKenna has never lived in Nashville, yet she’s gradually become one of the most sought-after co-writers in Music City. At her kitchen table in Stoughton, Massachusetts, she wrote a heartfelt message to her five kids in the form of “Humble and Kind.” Tim McGraw carried the song to No. 1, and it also led to McKenna winning her second consecutive Grammy for Country Song of the Year. The first one was for Little Big Town’s triple-platinum single, “Girl Crush.” One of McKenna’s earliest champions was Faith Hill, who recorded “Stealing Kisses” for 2005’s Fireflies. McKenna continued recording her own albums as more stars cut her songs, including Hunter Hayes (“I Want Crazy”) and Keith Urban (“The Luxury of Knowing”). She released a new album, The Bird & The Rifle, in 2016. The project received a Grammy nod for Best Americana Album, while “Wreck You” was up for Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song. She is a co-writer on Little Big Town’s new single, “Happy People.”

Past recipients of the Songwriter of the Year Award include Ross Copperman, Dallas Davidson, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Roger Miller.

About ACM Honors:
ACM Honors™ is an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the Academy of Country Music Awards, including the Special Awards, Studio Recording Awards and Songwriter of the Year Award winners. The 11th Annual ACM Honors takes place Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and will be produced for television by dick clark productions to be broadcast at a later date (date to be announced) on the CBS Television Network. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, R.A. Clark, Barry Adelman and Mark Bracco are executive producers. Pete Fisher and Tiffany Moon are executive producers for the Academy of Country Music.

Ronnie McDowell Celebrates 40 Years Of Music And Releases New Album ‘Songs I Love’

RONNIE MCDOWELL CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF MUSIC AND RELEASES NEW ALBUM SONGS I LOVE

Legendary Singer/Songwriter Recorded Songs That Shaped His Life, Exclusive Pre-Order Bundle Includes Autographed New Artwork and CD

 Ronnie McDowell, known for 40 years of hit singles and genuine warmth that fills seats show after show, is set to release Songs I Love, a brand new album featuring his versions of his all-time favorite songs, as well as two original tracks. Fans can pre-order the album, along with McDowell’s most recent print, as part of an exclusive bundle on RonnieMcDowellStore.com.

Songs I Love features McDowell’s one-of-a kind rendition of the songs most special to him by artists including Eddie Rabbitt, Frank Sinatra, Ricky Nelson, Merle Haggard, B.J. Thomas, Charlie Rich and more. Two new tracks co-penned by McDowell titled “I Want That Girl” and “He Still Has You” round out the project, which showcases a never-before-seen photo of a young McDowell on the back cover.

A man of many talents, McDowell is accompanying the album with his most recent artwork in the exclusive pre-order bundle. “Just In The Nick Of Time” features Elvis Presley and his 1950’s band (Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana and Bill Black) on their way to a show. When they have a flat tire, St. Nick saves the day by offering them his sleigh. Each print and CD will be autographed by McDowell.

“This album is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. These songs have been dear to my heart from the time i was a child at 10, 11 and 12 years old. The print is unusual, as the year is 1954 and Elvis’ pink Cadillac is broken down in front of a diner on Christmas Eve. Luckily Santa Claus is there to give Elvis and the band a ride, ‘Just In the Nick of Time’,” said McDowell of his new releases.

Celebrating 40 great years in country music in 2017, “The King is Gone” hitmaker quickly proved that he wasn’t just a one-hit wonder following the iconic tribute to Elvis Presley. From that single onward, McDowell charted more than thirty Top 40 hits on the Billboard country music charts. Two of his singles, “Older Women” and “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation,” reached No. 1 on the country charts, while eleven more reached Top Ten. He has also released more than twenty studio albums.

To pre-order the Songs I Love and “Just In the Nick of Time” exclusive bundle, visit RonnieMcDowellStore.com. Be sure to follow Ronnie McDowell on Facebook and Twitter.

SONGS I LOVE TRACK LISTING:
1. A Wonder Like You
2. And I Love You So
3. Fool Number One
4. Hooked On A Feeling
5. I Can’t Help Myself
6. I Don’t See Me In Your Eyes Anymore
7. Twinkle,Twinkle Lucky Star
8. Why Can’t She Be You
9. Young At Heart
10. I Want That Girl
11. He Still Has You

RONNIE MCDOWELL 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR UPCOMING DATES:
Jan. 28 St. Francis Community Center — Milwaukee, Wis.
Feb. 10 Armour’s Hotel — Red Boiling Springs, Tenn.
Feb. 11 Armour’s Hotel — Red Boiling Springs, Tenn.
Feb. 19 Rockin’ Country Music Round Up — Waterford, Mich.
Feb. 24 Bell Buckle Banquet Hall — Bell Buckle, Tenn.
Feb. 26 Charles Evering VFW (with Ronnie Dove & Franz) — Rosedale, Md.
March 11 The Beacon Theater — Hopewell, Va.
March 25 The Roxy Theater — Russellville, Ala.

ABOUT RONNIE MCDOWELL:
Like all great entertainers, Ronnie McDowell has a personality that remains luminous long after the lights go dim. These qualities have inspired a nationwide network of fan-clubs with more than 3,000 members, each one a devoted promoter of everything McDowell does. Following the death of Elvis Presley in 1977, Ronnie McDowell came out of nowhere to dazzle the world with his heartfelt and self-penned tribute song “The King Is Gone” on the independent Scorpion label. The record took off immediately, gaining airplay on country and pop stations across the country and around the world. To date, “The King Is Gone” has sold more than five million copies. McDowell scored a second hit for the Scorpion label titled “I Love You, I Love You, I Love You” before being wooed and signed by CBS Records – Epic label in 1979. He continued to chart a string of hit singles and albums for Epic between 1979 and 1986. Every single release with the exception of just one became a Top 10 Hit including the chart toppers “Older Women” and “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation.” Other hits during his Epic years included “Watchin Girls Go By,” “Personally,” “You Made A Wanted Man Of Me,” “All Tied Up” and “In A New York Minute.” He sought the advice of artists such as Conway Twitty who became, in essence, not only his mentor but his friend as well. Twitty helped the young singer with advice about touring, recording and most of all, entertaining fans. Twitty was certainly the master and Ronnie McDowell quickly became his prize pupil. Moving to Curb Records in 1986, his current label to date, McDowell scored a Top 10 hit with “It’s Only Make Believe,” a duet with Conway Twitty on what was Twitty’s breakthrough hit from 1958. Two years later Ronnie teamed up with Jerry Lee Lewis for a rocking duet that McDowell wrote titled,”You’re Never Too Old To Rock N’ Roll.” He also recorded yet another Top 10 hit with his version of the pop standard “Unchained Melody,” which also became a #1 country music video. His entertaining abilities soared and he began to draw larger crowds. He started appearing in larger venues and touring with artists such as Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn before headlining his own shows. McDowell also achieved notoriety when he sang 36 songs on the soundtrack “Elvis,” the Dick Clark-produced television movie that featured Kurt Russell as the performer. He also was the singing voice for the television movie “Elvis And Me”, the ABC television series about the early years of Elvis’ career titled simply “Elvis” as well as, the 1997 Showtime special “Elvis Meets Nixon.” While Elvis Presley has played a big part in Ronnie McDowell’s musical career over the years, Ronnie continues to entertain audiences with his own blend of romantic intimacy and country excitement.

Aaron Lewis Continues ‘Sinner’ Tour With Jam Packed Schedule

AARON LEWIS CONTINUES SINNER TOUR WITH JAM PACKED SCHEDULE

Aaron Lewis is starting 2017 where he ended 2016…with sold out performances this past weekend in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte and an upcoming sold out schedule promoting his critically acclaimed album SINNER (Dot Records).

The self-proclaimed “Northern Redneck” and Staind frontman achieved critical and commercial success with SINNER earning him the #1 position on the Top 200 Albums, Top Country Albums and Top Digital Albums Charts upon release.

The 12-track project, voted one of Whiskey Riff’s 40 Best Country Albums of 2016, was recorded in only 16 hours at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios with producer Buddy Cannon (George Strait, Merle Haggard, George Jones). Lewis single-handedly penned eight of the songs, in addition to covering Chris Stapleton’s “Whiskey and You” and The Dixie Chicks’ “Travelin’ Soldier.” Lewis collaborates with Willie Nelson on the album’s title track while Grammy® Award-winning artists Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski and Vince Gill are also featured.

SINNER was also one of Billboard’s 10 Best Country Albums of 2016. “The no-holds-barred honesty of tracks such as “I Lost It All” and “Mama” were some of the finest writing from a male artist this year.” – Billboard

The Boot raves, “Aaron Lewis shows a surprising understanding and respect for country music with his latest album, SINNER. Drawing from his childhood influences of listening to country music in his grandfather’s car, SINNER shows Aaron’s abilities as a singer, songwriter, musician and stylist. SINNER might just be the record that propels Aaron to a permanent place in country music.” Maverick Magazine’s Eric Dahl concurs, “Aaron Lewis brings a raw honesty to his songs on the new album SINNER that Country Music radio hasn’t heard in a long time. The imagery of the lyrics sucks you in, but his mournful voice and guitar keep you!”

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.AaronLewisMusic.com.

Aaron Lewis On Tour
Jan. 20 – Buckhead Theatre – Atlanta, Ga.
Jan. 21 – Blind Horse Saloon – Greenville, S.C.
Jan. 22 – Montgomery Performing Arts Centre -Montgomery, Ala.
Jan. 25 – The Joy Theater – New Orleans, La.
Jan. 26 – Banita Creek Hall – Nacogdoches, Texas
Jan. 27 – Cowboys Dance Hall – San Antonio, Texas
Jan. 28 – Billy Bob’s – Fort Worth, Texas
Jan. 29 – 2017 Karbach Cook Off @ Lucky’s Pub – Houston, Texas
Feb. 01 – The Fillmore – Silver Spring, Md.
Feb. 02 – Trocadero Theatre – Philadelphia, Pa.
Feb. 03 – House of Blues Boston – Boston, Mass.
Feb. 04 – Town Ballroom – Buffalo, N.Y.
Feb. 09 – House of Blues – Orlando, Fla.
Feb. 10 – The Dallas Bull – Tampa, Fla.
Feb. 11 – The Ranch – Fort Myers, Fla.
Feb. 12 – Seminole Hard Rock – Hollywood, Fla.
Feb. 16 – Louisville Palace – Louisville, Ky.
Feb. 17 – The Fillmore – Detroit, Mich.
Feb. 18 – Rusty Spur – Fort Wayne, Ind.
Feb. 24 – The Blue Note – Columbia, Mo.
Feb. 25 – Orpheum Theater – Madison, Wisc.
Feb. 26 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, Minn.
Feb. 27 – Green Bay Distillery – Green Bay, Wisc.
March 02 – Iron City – Birmingham, Ala.
March 03 – Riverdome At Horseshoe Casino – Bossier City, La.
March 04 – Hard Rock Live – Biloxi, Miss.
March 10 – Limelight Eventplex – Peoria, Ill.
March 11 – Joe’s Live – Rosemont, Ill.
March 12 – VooDoo Lounge At Harrah’s Casino – Kansas City, Mo.
March 18 – Riverwind Casino Showplace Theatre – Norman, Okla.
March 19 – Horseshoe Casino – Tunica – Robinsonville, Miss.
March 31 – Firekeepers Casino – Battle Creek, Mich.
April 01 – Cotton Eyed Joe – Knoxville, Tenn.
April 07 – Turning Stone Resort & Casino – Verona, N.Y.
April 19 – House of Blues – San Diego, Calif.
April 21 – Silver Legacy Casino – Reno, Nev.
April 22 – Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort – Jackson, CA
April 23 – Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort – Jackson, Calif.
April 28 – Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, N.J.
April 29 – Mountaineer Casino – Chester, W.Va.
May 28 – Foxwoods Resort Casino – Mashantucket, Conn.
June 24 – Choctaw Casino Resort – Durant, Okla.

Charlie Daniels, Fred Foster and Randy Travis Inducted Into Country Music Hall of Fame

CHARLIE DANIELS, FRED FOSTER AND
RANDY TRAVIS INDUCTED INTO
THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME

1
TRACE ADKINS, GARTH BROOKS, BRANDY CLARK, ALAN JACKSON, JAMEY JOHNSON, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, CHARLIE McCOY, BRAD PAISLEY, DOLLY PARTON, TRISHA YEARWOOD, AND ANDREA ZONN AMONG ALL-STAR CAST PAYING MUSICAL TRIBUTES TO INDUCTEES

charile-daniels randy-travis 2

Three visionary iconoclasts, whose creative skills altered the direction of commercial country music, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during a star-studded, profoundly emotional Medallion Ceremony on October 16, 2016.

Hosted by Country Music Hall of and Museum CEO Kyle Young and held in the museum’s CMA Theater, the annual ceremony paid tribute to country rock pioneer Charlie Daniels; music producer, publisher and Monument Records founder Fred Foster; and neo-traditional singer Randy Travis with speeches, live musical tributes and original video biographies. The artists paying tribute crossed generations and styles, underscoring the eclectic nature and groundbreaking stature of the three men being inducted.

“These three Tar Heels came to Tennessee and created music that enriched our lives and enhanced our culture,” said Young. “We are better for their presence and for their talents, and we are proud to hang their plaques in the Hall of Fame Rotunda.”

Musical tributes, with surprise guests, are a highlight of the Medallion Ceremony. Foster’s celebration began with Dolly Parton performing her first hit, “Dumb Blonde,” produced by Foster and released on Monument Records.

“If anybody deserves one of these medallions, you do.” Parton said to Foster. “You gave me a shot, and you were a gentleman when Porter Wagoner stole me away. You saw things in me that nobody else did. I hope that I made you proud.”

Whenever she reflects on the blessings bestowed upon her, Parton said, “I thank God. I thank the fans. And I thank you.”
Grammy-winning songwriter Brandy Clark performed “Blue Bayou,” which Foster originally produced with Orbison. Linda Ronstadt later transformed the song into a pop classic.

Kris Kristofferson, the last of Foster’s tribute performers, walked out with harmonica specialist and fellow Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy to perform a touching version of his famous song, “Me and Bobby McGee.” The song’s inspiration, former Music Row office worker Barbara McKee (now Barbara McKee Eden by marriage), was in the audience.

A Hall of Fame member always inducts the newcomers, as a way of welcoming them to the elite group. Foster requested that Hall of Fame member Vince Gill make his induction official.

To begin the musical tribute to Daniels, Young spoke of the important role producer and record executive Bob Johnston, who died in 2015, played in the new inductee’s career. Johnston and Daniels co-wrote “It Hurts Me,” and Daniels moved to Nashville in 1967 at Johnston’s invitation.

Trisha Yearwood began the musical tribute to Daniels with a soulful version of “It Hurts Me,” recorded by Elvis Presley in 1964. Getting a cut by Presley was the first major breakthrough in Daniels’s career.

Jamey Johnson performed Daniels’ 1980 hit “Long Haired Country Boy.” With his hair several inches beyond his shoulders and a beard that reached his chest, Johnson said, “I started singing this song when I was in the marines. I didn’t have long hair then.”

For the last of the musical tributes to Daniels, Grand Ole Opry star Trace Adkins and fiddler Andrea Zonn took the stage to perform “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” “I got the hardest song to do,” Adkins said with a wry smile, before nailing the vocals. Zonn played the difficult fiddle parts with stunning virtuosity, drawing an ovation from Daniels who pointed at her as she bowed toward him.

Hall of Fame member Brenda Lee inducted Daniels.

dolly 3 4

Alan Jackson began the musical tributes to Randy Travis by explaining that he moved to Nashville in 1985 with the goal of bringing real country music back to the airwaves. “Nobody was carrying it on,” he said, but shortly after he got to town, Jackson heard Travis on the radio. “You opened the doors for a lot of guys and girls who wanted to record real country music,” Jackson said. “You made it easier for us.” Jackson went on to perform “On the Other Hand.”

Brad Paisley followed Jackson with a performance of “Forever and Ever, Amen.” Paisley noted that, in previous generations, there were country artists who emulated Roy Acuff, Lefty Frizzell, George Jones, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. “And there’s Randy, for my generation.” Addressing Travis directly, he continued: “To this day, you are still one of the greatest singers we’ve ever had. I am honored to do this for you today, pal.”

For the final musical tribute of the evening, Garth Brooks performed Travis’ hit “Three Wooden Crosses.” Following his performance Brooks welcomed Travis into the Hall of Fame. Tribute performers don’t usually do the induction as well but the Hall of Fame honored Travis’s request that Brooks take that role.

To accept his induction, Travis took small steps up the four stairs, fighting the effects of his stroke with help from his wife Mary and from Paisley, who came out from backstage to assist him. At the podium, he stood next to his wife as she read what he wanted to say.

She recounted the tragic circumstances of Travis’s stroke, which nearly took his life in 2013. “The doctors suggested we pull the life support,” said Mary. “I went to his bedside and asked if he wanted to fight some more. I knew he did. He squeezed my hand, and a little tear fell down his cheek. He and God had other plans.”

Doctors told the couple that Travis would never walk again and would be bed-ridden. Standing onstage he accentuated how he beat the odds.

Despite Travis’s ongoing struggle to speak, Mary and her husband sing every day. “Sometimes we sing the greatest redemption song of all time, and it fills us with God’s grace,” she said. That song is ‘Amazing Grace.’”

Mary Travis said that, for the first time since his stroke, she wanted to share her husband’s voice with those gathered to celebrate this special occasion. Her voice breaking with emotion, she said, “Please join us in singing ‘Amazing Grace.’”

Travis leaned into the microphone, his baritone voice strained but instantly recognizable. As he sang the first verse to a stunned crowd, many were too overcome with emotion to sing along. Taking more effort to speak than to sing, “Thank you,” Travis said, and after pausing for a breath, “for everything you’ve done.”

A thunderous standing ovation lasted for minutes, longer than any of the numerous ovations of the night.

The audience at the private celebration was packed with Hall of Fame members, who welcomed the new inductees to their exclusive club. Hall of Famers in attendance were Alabama members Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen, Bobby Bare, Harold Bradley, Garth Brooks, Roy Clark, Ralph Emery, Vince Gill, Kris Kristofferson, Brenda Lee, Charlie McCoy, Oak Ridge Boys members Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride and E. W. “Bud” Wendell.

The evening ended, as always, with a performance of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Museum employee, ace guitarist Ben Hall, and harmonica maestro Charlie McCoy started the song, performing a verse and chorus while Hall of Fame members gathered at the front of the stage. The Oak Ridge Boys and Charlie Daniels took turns singing the verses, with the audience, the night’s guest performers, and the Hall of Famers joining in on the choruses.

For a complete wrap-up of last night’s show click here. Follow @countrymusichof on Twitter and join the conversation using
#honorthymusic.

Big and Rich Join Golden Nugget Las Vegas NFR Lineup Dec. 4

golden nugget

Big and Rich Join Golden Nugget Las Vegas NFR Lineup Dec. 4

Tickets on sale now!

 

 

Country music duo Big and Rich join this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo entertainment line-up at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas.

 

12/3: Tanya Tucker

12/4: Big and Rich

12/5: Trace Adkins

 

12/6: Terri Clark

12/7 – 12/8: Merle Haggard

12/9: LeAnn Rimes

 

12/10 -12/11: Alabama

 

Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Big Kenny and John Rich began their music careers in the late 90’s and released their first album, Horse of a Different Color, in 2004. Their biggest hits include “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” “8th of November,” and “Lost in this Moment.”

 

Big and Rich have been nominated for Country Music Association Awards Vocal Duo of the Year, American Country Music Awards Top Vocal Duo and Country Music Television Music Awards Duo Video of the Year for “That’s Why I Pray.” Big and Rich also received a Ride of Fame in New York City in 2014. The Ride of Fame included several mobile monuments honoring public figures.

 

All concerts will be held in The Grand Event Center following the rodeo at 10 p.m. each night. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.goldennugget.com or by calling 866-946-5336. Select shows start at $19 plus tax and service fees. For room availability, call 800-634-3454 or visit www.goldennugget.com.

 

 

big and rich

ABOUT GOLDEN NUGGET LAS VEGAS

The Golden Nugget Las Vegas is the most luxurious resort on the Fremont Street Experience, and consistently receives critical acclaim for exceeding customer expectations. The Golden Nugget now offers more than 2,400 deluxe guestrooms and suites; a high-energy casino featuring the most popular slot and video poker machines, table games, race and sports book, and poker room; nightly entertainment with master impressionist and comedian Gordie Brown; world-class restaurants such as Grotto Italian Ristorante, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse, Claim Jumper and Cadillac Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar; a luxury spa and salon; and The Tank, a year-round outdoor swimming pool complete with a 200,000 gallon, live shark aquarium and the new H20 poolside lounge. Since 2005, the Golden Nugget Las Vegas has made more than $300 million in upgrades, renovations and expansions under Landry’s, Inc, introducing first-class accommodations, exquisite dining options and fun-filled entertainment venues. Throughout the upgrades, the Golden Nugget Las Vegas unveiled the Rush Tower in 2009, brought Las Vegas its first Chart House Restaurant and introduced a beautiful new pool, The Hideout, as well as expanded the gaming, entertainment and retail options at the luxury resort.  In 2014, the Golden Nugget invested $15 million in renovating the Gold Tower adding modern designs consistent with the upscale Rush Tower and invested $6.5 million transforming the Conference Center into a modern business space. Hotel reservations and additional information are available by calling 800-634-3454 or by visiting online at www.goldennugget.com.

 

About the Wrangler NFR

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR), considered the world’s premier rodeo, features 10 straight days of the best in rodeo competition, with a total of 120 contestants competing every night in seven events. Each December, the top 15 contestants, based on the PRCA World Standings, in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding qualify to compete at the Wrangler NFR. www.prorodeo.com

PERFORMERS AND PRESENTERS ANNOUNCED FOR 8th ANNUAL ACM HONORS TO BE HELD ON SEPTEMBER 9, 2014

acm honors

PERFORMERS AND PRESENTERS ANNOUNCED FOR

8th ANNUAL ACM HONORS

TO BE HELD ON SEPTEMBER 9, 2014

AT HISTORIC RYMAN AUDITORIUM IN NASHVILLE

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT TICKETMASTER AND AT THE RYMAN BOX OFFICE

WHAT:  The 8th Annual ACM HONORS, as previously announced, is an evening of musical tribute performances and award presentations celebrating the non-televised special honorees and winners from the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, held earlier this year.  Tickets priced at $40.00 are available at Ticketmaster.com and the Ryman box office.

WHO: Participants include host Jake Owen, musical director Frank Liddell, performers Dierks Bentley, Clare Bowen, Shawn Camp, Kelly Clarkson, Rodney Clawson, Hunter Hayes, Will Hoge, Jack Ingram, Kacey Musgraves, Sam Palladio,Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Lee Ann Womack, Dwight Yoakam, Oak Ridge Boys and presenters Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Chesney, Pete Fisher, Brenda Lee, Justin Moore, Thomas Rhett,  The Swon Brothers and more. 

Honorees include Special Awards recipients Bob Beckham (posthumously), Steve BuchananJack Clement (posthumously), Dean DillonToby Keith, Kris Kristofferson, Ronnie MilsapPaul Moore, Buck Owens (posthumously), Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts. Studio Recording Awards (formerly MBI Awards) recipients include Shannon Forrest, Paul Franklin, Dann Huff, Charlie Judge, Rob McNelley, Justin Niebank, Michael Rhodes and Bryan Sutton. Industry Award winners include Brian O’Connell of Live Nation, Nicole More of Neste Event Marketing, Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater in Austin, TXBilly Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth, TX, Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TNGrand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN, Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT and Mohegan Sun Wolf Den in Uncasville, CT.  Shane McAnally will be honored as Songwriter of the Year.  For more information on specific awards, please visit www.acmcountry.com.

Special Awards recipient Merle Haggard was previously presented with the ACM Crystal Milestone Award for his 50 years in country music on the 49th ACM Awards in April. 

WHEN:
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014                                  
          
7:00pm Show Begins

 

WHERE: Ryman Auditorium
116 5th Avenue North
Nashville, TN

ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC CELEBRATES ACM AWARDS UPCOMING 50th ANNIVERSARY WITH THIS IS COUNTRY: A BACKSTAGE PASS TO THE ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS

acm 50

ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC CELEBRATES

ACM AWARDS UPCOMING 50th ANNIVERSARY WITH

THIS IS COUNTRY: A BACKSTAGE PASS TO THE

ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS

 

RETROSPECTIVE BOOK FEATURES FOREWORD BY REBA,

PLUS CONTRIBUTIONS FROM COUNTRY MUSIC’S BIGGEST STARS

This Is Country

The Academy of Country Music is announcing that the first-ever ACM commemorative book, This Is Country: A Backstage Pass to the Academy of Country Music Awards will be available to music fans everywhere on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, at booksellers nationwide, and is available NOW for pre-order at Amazon.  Written by the Academy’s own Lisa Lee, with a foreword by Reba, the gorgeous 224 page book invites fans to peek behind the scenes of the ACM Awards.  All of the Academy’s proceeds from sales of the book will go to ACM Lifting Lives.

Featuring contributions by country music’s biggest stars from the 1960s to the present day, including Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Loretta Lynn, Alabama’s Randy Owen, Reba, Blake Shelton, George Strait, and Marty Stuart, and commentary from Kenny Chesney, Merle Haggard, Faith Hill, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and many more, This Is Country is a must-have for fans of music everywhere.

From the first informal ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium in the mid-’60s to today’s star-studded LIVE telecast viewed by millions, generations of country’s biggest superstars have graced the Academy of Country Music Awards stage.  Now, in anticipation of the 50th ACM Awards telecast next spring, the Academy has opened its archive for the first time ever to reveal candid, never-before-seen photographs and memorabilia capturing some of the greatest moments in the history of country music. Rich with backstage and performance photographs, compelling behind-the-scenes stories, and firsthand accounts from country legends and contemporary artists, This Is Country: A Backstage Pass to the Academy of Country Music Awards (Insight Editions / $50.00 / September 2014) offers a rare and intimate glimpse into the past, present, and evolution of the Academy.

“For five decades, the Academy of Country Music Awards has proudly showcased the best in country music, to the delight of millions of viewers,” said Bob Romeo, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “We are so excited to share some of the most candid moments in our history with music fans. ‘This Is Country’ truly is a backstage pass to the ACM Awards.”

“It’s an incredible honor to help tell the story of the Academy as well as the stories of the amazing artists and people behind the scenes who have built it over the last 50 years,” said Lee.  “To flip through the pages and watch the show evolve from a Southern California banquet to a network television powerhouse is a sight to behold.”

“It’s been a wonderful experience working with the Academy and Lisa Lee,” said Robbie Schmidt, Insight Editions’ acquisitions editor. “The ACM has an incredibly rich history and we’re excited to offer country music fans this intimate look behind the scenes. A special thank you to the iconic artists whose participation and support made this book possible.”

All of the Academy’s proceeds from sales of the book will go to ACM Lifting Lives, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music, dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.  Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM Lifting Lives develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs, and serves members of the community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. Through generous donations and the support of artists and fans, ACM Lifting Lives is able to fund everything from disaster relief and helping communities in need, to music education in schools and music camps for those with disabilities, to supporting programs that use music therapy as a means to help our veterans and wounded warriors, while providing grants to help them ease back into life.  For more details on the book or for more information on ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music, please visit www.ACMcountry.com or www.ACMLiftingLives.org.

About the Academy of Country Music Awards:
The Academy of Country Music Awards is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry. The 50th ACM Awards celebrating the golden anniversary of Country Music’s Party of the Year® is produced for television by dick clark productions and will be broadcast LIVE from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, on Sunday, April 19, 2015, at 8:00 P.M. live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

About the Author:
Based in Los Angeles after a decade of living in Nashville, Lisa Lee has been covering country music for more than twenty years. She has written, produced, and corresponded for CMT/MTV Networks and The Nashville Network. Her credits include CMT Insider and TV news specials Controversy: Tammy Wynette and the Prism Award–winner Addicted to Addiction. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Lee is currently the Academy’s Senior Vice President of Creative & Content Production and editor of the quarterly magazine, ACM Tempo.

About Insight Editions:
Insight Editions is a publisher focused on creating superlative illustrated books on photography, music, and popular culture. Lavishly produced and visually stimulating, every volume from Insight is dedicated to the skillful interplay of word and image. The books produced are unique works that combine the highest quality print production values with time-honored traditions of publishing and rich subject matter. Elegant and informative, books from Insight showcase the best of art and photography in exquisite presentations of the bookmaker’s craft. For more information, visit www.insighteditions.com.

 

This Is Country: A Backstage Pass to the Academy of Country Music Awards

By Lisa Lee; Foreword by Reba

Insight Editions | September 2014 | 9.25 x 12 | 224 pages

Music / Country

Hardcover | World | $50.00

ISBN-13: 978-1608873159

JAKE OWEN TO HOST 8th ANNUAL ACM HONORS TO BE HELD SEPTEMBER 9, 2014 AT THE RYMAN AUDITORIUM IN NASHVILLE

acm honors

JAKE OWEN TO HOST 8th ANNUAL ACM HONORS
TO BE HELD SEPTEMBER 9, 2014
AT THE RYMAN AUDITORIUM IN NASHVILLE

* * *

OPEN-TO-THE PUBLIC MUSIC EVENT TO RECOGNIZE SPECIAL HONOREES FROM THE
49TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS
TICKETS AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY, AUGUST1st AT TICKETMASTER
AND AT THE RYMAN BOX OFFICE

Today the Academy of Country Music is announcing that country music star Jake Owen will host the 8th Annual ACM HONORS, an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.  The event will take place on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 7:00pm at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  Tickets priced at $40.00 will go on sale to the general public at Ticketmaster.com and the Ryman box office at 10:00 AM CST on Friday, August 1, 2014.

This is Owen’s first time hosting the event and the fifth time the ceremony will be held at the Ryman Auditorium.

Honorees include Special Awards recipients Bob Beckham (posthumously), Steve Buchanan, Jack Clement (posthumously), Dean Dillon, Toby Keith, Kris Kristofferson, Ronnie Milsap, Paul Moore, Buck Owens (posthumously), Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts.  Studio Recording Awards (formerly MBI Awards) recipients include Shannon Forrest, Paul Franklin, Dann Huff, Charlie Judge, Rob McNelley, Justin Niebank, Michael Rhodes and Bryan Sutton.  Industry Award winners include Brian O’Connell of Live Nation, Nicole More of Neste Event Marketing, Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater in Austin, TX, Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth, TX, Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN, Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN, Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT and Mohegan Sun Wolf Den in Uncasville, CT.  Shane McAnally will be honored as Songwriter of the Year.  For more information on specific awards, please visit www.acmcountry.com.

Special Awards recipient Merle Haggard was previously presented with the ACM Crystal Milestone Award for his 50 years in country music on the 49th ACM Awards in April. 

ACM Award winner Jake Owen is continuing to make waves with the PLATINUM-certified, chart-topper “Beachin’,” marking his fifth #1 single and fastest selling track to date. The infectious party anthem is featured on his latest album DAYS OF GOLD along with the hit title track and brand new single “What We Ain’t Got” hitting Country radio August 11th. Produced by Joey Moi, the RCA Nashville project is the follow up to the GOLD-certified BAREFOOT BLUE JEAN NIGHT album, which has sold wellover 5 million tracks to date. Owen has ascended to one of Country music’s leading male vocalists with four consecutive #1 smashes – GOLD-certified hits “The One That Got Away,” “Anywhere with You,” PLATINUM-certified “Alone with You” and 2X PLATINUM “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” The Vero Beach, Fla., native is currently on the road with his major nationwide headlining run—JAKE OWEN’S DAYS OF GOLD TOUR 2014. Presented by Discover Boating, the sizzling tour covers 75-plus cities.

“I couldn’t be more proud to host the ACM Honors,” shares Owen. “I’m blessed to be a part of country music and to join in recognizing these incredible artists, musicians and industry executives is a true honor.”

“We think Jake’s talent as a songwriter and performer – alongside his respect for country music – makes him the perfect choice to host ACM Honors for the first time this year,” said Bob Romeo, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “His energy and inventive spirit will be fun to watch attending fans respond to, and we’re honored to have him take this key role in the most important event the Academy hosts in Nashville, annually.”

Tickets will go on-sale to the general public at 10 AM (CT) Friday, August 1, 2014 at www.ticketmaster.com.   For event updates, please visit www.acmcountry.com or follow us on Twitter at @ACMAwards.

For more information on the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC and the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, please visit www.acmcountry.com. For information on ACM LIFTING LIVES, please visit www.acmliftinglives.org.

 

jake owen

ACM Presents: All-Star Salute to the Troops & Carrie Underwood “Keep Us Safe” Announcement

all star salute to the  troops

CARRIE UNDERWOOD HONORS MILITARY SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN
WITH SONG WRITTEN FOR
ACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS
CONCERT SPECIAL AIRING TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014 AT 9PM ET/PT
ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

“KEEP US SAFE” TO PREMIERE ON SPECIAL, DOWNLOADS WILL BENEFIT ACM LIFTING LIFES®

 

 

Carrie Underwood, an 11-time Academy of Country Music Award winner, co-penned a song specifically for the Academy’s military tribute show, ACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS. Carrie’s performance of “Keep Us Safe” will debut during the broadcast airing this Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 9:00 PM ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.  Coinciding with her performance, the song will be available digitally with proceeds benefiting ACM Lifting Lives®.

 

“When we were approached to be a part of the show, I was so excited to do something to honor our troops, and because ACM Lifting Lives does such great work. I wanted to take the time to really think about what song I wanted to perform,” shares Carrie.  “I had a writing session scheduled with my co-writers and friends Hillary Lindsey, Luke Laird and Shane McAnally, and I guess the show was weighing on my mind. I think we all left the session knowing the song was special because it basically wrote itself that day!”

 

In addition to being a three-time ACM Top Female Vocalist, in 2010 Underwood became the first female artist to win ACM Entertainer of the Year twice.

In honor of Armed Forces Day (May 17) observancesACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS features Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Hunter Hayes, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Kellie Pickler, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Keith Urban, Eli Young Band, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry paying tribute to our country’s remarkable all-volunteer military force. The two-hour special is co-hosted by LL COOL J and Chris O’Donnell, and produced for television by dick clark productions, to air on Tuesday May 20, 2014 at 9:00-11:00 PM ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, R.A. Clark and Barry Adelman are executive producers. Bob Romeo is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music. An Electronic Press Kit featuring interviews and clips from the special is available at the following link: www.acmcountry.com/troopsepk

 

ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Roaming Show

ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show

ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Roaming Show

About ACM Lifting Lives
ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.  Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM Lifting Lives develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs, and serves members of the community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. Through generous donations and the support of artists and fans, ACM Lifting Lives is able to fund everything from disaster relief and helping communities in need, to music education in schools and music camps for those with disabilities, to supporting programs that use music therapy as a means to help our veterans and wounded warriors, while providing grants to help them ease back into life. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.

ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops Concert Special Featuring Members from the U.S. Armed Forces

all star salute to the  troops

ACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS 
CONCERT SPECIAL featurING MEMBERS FROM THE U.S. ARMED FORCES
ON STAGE WITH COUNTRY SUPERSTARS
TO AIR TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014 at 9PM ET/PT
ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN FROM THE ARMY, MARINE CORPS, NAVY, AIR FORCE AND COAST GUARD PERFORM WITH COUNTRY ROYALTY

IN SURPRISE MOMENT, TOBY KEITH RECOGNIZED WITH “SPIRIT OF THE USO” HONOR
IN RECOGNITION OF HIS MANY USO TOURS

The Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions have announced additional information regarding the servicemen and women from the United States Armed Forces, who performed on stage with some of the biggest names in country music during ACM PRESENTS:  AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS, taped on Monday, April 7th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In honor of Armed Forces Day (May 17) observances, the two-hour concert event, co-hosted by LL COOL J and Chris O’Donnell, will airTuesday, May 20, 2014 at 9:00 PM ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.

 

Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Hunter Hayes, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Kellie Pickler, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Eli Young Band, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry all performed and paid tribute to our country’s remarkable all-volunteer military force. Many of the artists were joined on stage by service members from the United States Armed Forces including Marine Capts. John Ed Auer & Matt Smith (performance with Lady Antebellum), Army Sgt. Christiana Ball (performance with Lee Brice), Navy STG3 Destiny Mills Coates (performance with Keith Urban), Marine Lt. Col. Mike Corrado (performance with Toby Keith), Army Spc. Kelly A. Gregg (performance with The Band Perry), Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Katie Spira (performance with Hunter Hayes), Marine Staff Sgt. Brandon Valentine (performance with Rascal Flatts) and Air Force Staff Sgt. Baily Zimmerman (performance with Kellie Pickler), in addition to, Air Force Master Sgt. Harry Bounds, Navy Lt. Chelsea Brunoehler, and Coast Guard ME1 Noah Reinhart (who joined the other service members on stage for a special performance with Toby Keith). Additional information on military participants is listed below.

 

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh was in attendance and thanked ACM, talented artists and all who give of themselves and their time to support the troops and their families.

 

During a special moment, superstar Toby Keith was surprised onstage by USO CEO, retired Brig. Gen. John Pray, who presented him with the Spirit of the USO honor in recognition of his many USO tours and longtime support of our U.S. military.

 

The special also includes moments and stories of incredible bravery and integrity in addition to appearances and presentations by Marcus Luttrell (retired U.S. Navy SEAL),Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”),Craig Morgan (U. S. Army Veteran/Country Music Artist), Nancy O’Dell (“Entertainment Tonight”), and Sheryl Underwood (former Staff Sergeant in the Air Force Reserves/“The Talk” host).  Proceeds from ticket sales for ACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS benefitted ACM Lifting Lives.

 

PARTICIPANTS FROM THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES:

 

  • U.S. Marine Corps Capt. John Ed Auer, Performed on fiddle with Lady Antebellum Current Position/Duty Station:  Silent Drill Platoon Commander, stationed at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.
  • U.S. Army Sgt. Christiana Ball, Performed on vocals with Lee Brice Current Position/Duty Station: Drill Sergeant for Initial Entry Military Police Soldiers, stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
  • U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Harry Bounds, Participated in finale with Toby Keith Current Position/Duty Station: Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, stationed at Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina
  • U.S. Navy Lt. Chelsea Brunoehler,Participated in finale with Toby Keith Current Position/Duty Station: Instructor Pilot at Training Air Wing FIVE in Milton, Florida
  • U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mike Corrado, Performed on vocals with Toby Keith Current Position/Duty Station: Executive Officer, Wounded Warrior Regiment, stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia
  • U.S. Army Spc. Kelly A. Gregg, Performed on vocals with The Band Perry Current Position/Duty Station:  Patient Administration Specialist, stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas
  • U.S. Navy STG3 Destiny Mills-Coates, Performed on vocals with Keith Urban Current Position/Duty Station:  a Student at the Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center at Naval Base Point Loma, California
  • U.S. Coast Guard ME1 Noah Reinhart, Participated in finale with Toby Keith Current Position/Duty Station:  Maritime Enforcement Specialist, assigned at U.S. Coast Guard Island Alameda in California.
  • U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Matt Smith, Performed on guitar with Lady Antebellum Current Position/Duty Station:  Assistant Operations Officer, stationed at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Katie Spira, Performed on vocals with Hunter HayesCurrent Position/Duty Station: Executive Officer aboard the Cutter ADAK
  • U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Brandon Valentine, Performed on vocals with Rascal Flatts Current Position/Duty Station:  Radio Operator, stationed at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twenty-nine Palms, California
  • U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Baily Zimmerman, Performed on vocals with Kellie Pickler Current Position/Duty Station: Aircrew, Aerospace Medical Craftsman, stationed at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina

 

ACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS was produced for television by dick clark productions and taped at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Monday April 7, 2014 and will air on Tuesday May 20, 2014 at 9:00-11:00 PM ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, R.A. Clark and Barry Adelman are executive producers. Bob Romeo is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

 

About ACM Lifting Lives

ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.  Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM Lifting Lives develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs, and serves members of the community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. Through generous donations and the support of artists and fans, ACM Lifting Lives is able to fund everything from disaster relief and helping communities in need, to music education in schools and music camps for those with disabilities, to supporting programs that use music therapy as a means to help our veterans and wounded warriors, while providing grants to help them ease back into life. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.

 

To learn more about the history of Armed Forces Day, visit: http://www.defense.gov/afd/history.aspx

ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show

ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show

 

ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops - Show

Photo credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for ACM

MIRANDA LAMBERT TO DUET WITH BLAKE SHELTON PLUS PERFORMANCES BY ELI YOUNG BAND AND RASCAL FLATTS

ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS

MIRANDA LAMBERT TO DUET WITH BLAKE SHELTON
PLUS PERFORMANCES BY ELI YOUNG BAND AND RASCAL FLATTS
ON “ACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS,”
TO BE BROADCAST TUESDAY, MAY 20 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

MARCUS LUTTRELL, JOE MANTEGNA, CRAIG MORGAN,
NANCY O’DELL, & SHERYL UNDERWOOD ADDED AS PRESENTERS

Tickets on Sale NOW at Ticketmaster.com for Taping of CBS Television Network Special at the
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Monday, April 7, 2014

The Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions have announced that Miranda Lambert will duet with Blake Shelton, plus Eli Young Band and Rascal Flatts have been added to the country superstar lineup for ACM PRESENTS:  AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS, a concert event featuring some of the biggest names in country music paying tribute to our armed forces.  Additionally, Marcus Luttrell (Retired Navy SEAL), Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”), Craig Morgan (United States Army Veteran/Country Music Artist), Nancy O’Dell (“Entertainment Tonight”), and Sheryl Underwood (“The Talk”) will present. The special, co-hosted by LL COOL J and Chris O’Donnell will be taped Monday, April 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be broadcast Tuesday, May 20 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. 

 

These artists join previously announced performers Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Hunter Hayes, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Kellie Pickler, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry.  The concert will honor the country’s remarkable servicemen and women and include special moments and stories of incredible bravery and integrity.  Proceeds from ticket sales for ACM PRESENTS:  AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS will benefit ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy.

 

ACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS is produced for television by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, R.A. Clark and Barry Adelman are executive producers. Bob Romeo is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

 

Tickets for ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops are on sale NOW at Ticketmaster, priced at $105, $155 and $205. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy.  For more information, please log onto www.ACMLiftingLives.org or www.ACMcountry.com or follow on Twitter at @ACMawards for more immediate updates.

 

About ACM Lifting Lives
ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.  Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM Lifting Lives develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs, and serves members of the community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. Through generous donations and the support of artists and fans, ACM Lifting Lives is able to fund everything from disaster relief and helping communities in need, to music education in schools and music camps for those with disabilities, to supporting programs that use music therapy as a means to help our veterans and wounded warriors, while providing grants to help them ease back into life. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.

Co-Hosts & Additional Performers Announced for ACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS

all star

LL COOL J AND CHRIS O’DONNELL TO CO-HOST
“ACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS,”
TO BE BROADCAST TUESDAY, MAY 20 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

DIERKS BENTLEY, LEE BRICE, LUKE BRYAN, HUNTER HAYES, TOBY KEITH,
TIM MCGRAW, KELLIE PICKLER, AND KEITH URBAN
ADDED TO THE STAR-STUDDED PERFORMANCE LINEUP

Tickets on Sale NOW at Ticketmaster.com for Taping of CBS Television Network Special at the
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Monday, April 7, 2014

The Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions have announced LL COOL J and Chris O’Donnell, stars of the hit CBS drama series “NCIS:  Los Angeles,” will co-host ACM PRESENTS:  AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS, a concert event featuring some of the biggest names in country music paying tribute to our armed forces. Additionally, Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Hunter Hayes, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Kellie Pickler, and Keith Urban have been added to the star-studded lineup of artists scheduled to perform. The special will be taped Monday, April 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be broadcast Tuesday, May 20 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

These artists join previously announced performers Merle Haggard, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry.  The concert will honor the country’s remarkable servicemen and women and include special moments and stories of incredible bravery and integrity.  Proceeds from ticket sales for ACM PRESENTS:  AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS will benefit ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy.

ACM PRESENTS: AN ALL-STAR SALUTE TO THE TROOPS is produced for television by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, R.A. Clark and Barry Adelman are executive producers. Bob Romeo is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

Tickets for ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops are on sale NOW at Ticketmaster, priced at $105, $155 and $205. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy.  For more information, please log onto www.ACMLiftingLives.org or www.ACMcountry.com or follow on Twitter at @ACMawards for more immediate updates.

 

About ACM Lifting Lives
ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.  Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM Lifting Lives develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs, and serves members of the community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. Through generous donations and the support of artists and fans, ACM Lifting Lives is able to fund everything from disaster relief and helping communities in need, to music education in schools and music camps for those with disabilities, to supporting programs that use music therapy as a means to help our veterans and wounded warriors, while providing grants to help them ease back into life. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.

MERLE HAGGARD, RONNIE MILSAP,CARRIE UNDERWOOD, RASCAL FLATTS & More Announced as Off-Camera Winners for 49th ACM Awards

acm honors












BOB BECKHAM, STEVE BUCHANAN, JACK CLEMENT, DEAN DILLON, MERLE HAGGARD,
TOBY KEITH, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, RONNIE MILSAP, PAUL MOORE,
BUCK OWENS, CARRIE UNDERWOOD & RASCAL FLATTS
ANNOUNCED AS OFF-CAMERA WINNERS
FOR THE 49th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS

* * *

Special Award Recipients, Studio Recording Awards, Industry Awards and
Songwriter of the Year Award Winners Announced

Today, the Academy of Country Music announced the winners of awards that will not be televised during the 49th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, due to time constraints. The ceremony will be telecast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. Special Awards, Industry Awards, Studio Recording Awards and Songwriter of the Year honorees will be feted at the 8th Annual ACM Honors event on September 9, 2014 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

The Academy of Country Music Special Awards are voted on by the ACM Board of Directors and specific categories are awarded during years where the Board of Directors feels there are clear and deserving candidates. Industry Awards are voted on by all professional members of the Academy. The Studio Recording Awards (formerly known as the Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist (MBI) Awards) ballot is voted on by professional members of the Academy classified in the Artist-Entertainer/Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist category, and the Producer-Engineer-Studio Manager sub-category (contained within the Affiliated category). The Songwriter of the Year ballot is voted on by professional members of the Academy in the following categories: Artist-Entertainer/Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist, Composer, Music Publisher/PRO, Record Company, and the Producer-Engineer-Studio Manager sub-category (contained within the Affiliated category).

SPECIAL AWARDS

Career Achievement Award – Toby Keith and Ronnie Milsap have been chosen to receive the Career Achievement Award, honoring an individual artist, duo, group or multiple artist collaboration that have advanced the popularity and acceptance of country music through their endeavors in the entertainment industry in multiple areas during the preceding calendar year.

Toby Keith has been riding high ever since his 1993 debut single, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” The Oklahoma native took the reins in 1999 by switching record labels and releasing the bold album, How Do You Like Me Now? Since that time, he’s won ACM Awards for Entertainer of the Year (2002, 2003), Male Vocalist of the Year (2000, 2003), Album of the Year (2000, 2003) and Video of the Year (2003, 2011). In addition to his 20 No. 1 country singles, he’s enhanced his unmistakable brand through movie roles (Beer For My Horses) and Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill restaurants. Since 2002, Keith has performed on 11 USO tours in 21 countries, including Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.

Ronnie Milsap brought a pop and R&B sensibility to country music in the 1970s and 1980s, even as his rich, clear voice rang true as country. Forty years ago, the North Carolina native marched to No. 1 with “Pure Love,” paving the way for a total of 49 Top 10 hits on Billboard’s country chart. He won his first ACM Award as the 1982 Male Vocalist of the Year. Three years later, “Lost in the Fifties (In the Still of the Night)” claimed Song of the Year. Milsap received the 2001 Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award and will release a new album in March.

Past recipients of the Career Achievement Award include John Anderson, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Johnny Paycheck, Carl Perkins, Reba and Kenny Rogers.

Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award – Bob Beckham has been chosen to receive the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award, honoring individuals who are pioneers in the country music genre.

Bob Beckham is remembered as a true music fan who took chances on unknown songwriters. Beckham was hired by Fred Foster at Combine Music in 1964. In time, its catalog grew to include Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” as well as Chris Gantry’s “Dreams of the Everyday Housewife” and Dennis Linde’s “Burning Love.” Beckham also nurtured the talent of Larry Gatlin, Jerry Reed, Ray Stevens and many more. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame recognized him with the inaugural Mentor Award in 2008. Beckham died in 2013.

Past recipients of the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award include Alabama, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, The Judds,  Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Jerry Reed, Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins, Kenny Rogers, Billy Sherrill, Ricky Skaggs, Mel Tillis, Randy Travis, Conway Twitty, Porter Wagoner, Keith Whitley, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Bob Wills and Dwight Yoakam, among others.

Crystal Milestone AwardAs previously announced, Merle Haggard has been chosen to receive the Crystal Milestone Award, which is given to an artist or industry leader to commemorate a specific, remarkable achievement.

Merle Haggard became the ACM’s first Entertainer of the Year when the award was presented for 1970. That win marked the Academy’s first Triple Crown achievement, as Haggard had already accepted the Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year award for 1965 and the first of six Male Vocalist of the Year awards the following year. Two of his most celebrated songs have also collected Single Record and Song of the Year awards from the ACM: “Okie From Muskogee” (1969) and “Are the Good Times Really Over” (1982). A winner of the ACM Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award and Poet’s Award, Haggard joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2014, he will celebrate the milestone of 50years in country music.

Past recipients of the Crystal Milestone Awardinclude Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Gayle Holcomb, Jennifer Nettles and Taylor Swift.

Gene Weed Special Achievement Award – Carrie Underwood has been chosen to receive the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award, which acknowledges unprecedented, unique and outstanding individual achievement in country music.

Carrie Underwood represents country music with class, whether she’s dazzling viewers of NFL Sunday Night Football or starring in a live broadcast of The Sound of Music. Her Blown Away Tour traveled to London’s Royal Albert Hall, followed by extensive dates across the U.S. and Canada. Upon completing the tour, she donated $1 million to the American Red Cross for disaster relief. She continues to support her hometown of Checotah, Okla., through her C.A.T.S. Foundation. Underwood is a rare ACM Triple Crown recipient, following wins as New Female Vocalist of the Year (2005), Female Vocalist of the Year (2006, 2007, 2008) and Entertainer of the Year (2008, 2009).

Past recipients of the Gene Weed Special Achievement Awardinclude Garth Brooks, George Burns, Jeff Foxworthy, Willie Nelson, Blake Shelton and George Strait.

Jim Reeves International Award – Steve Buchanan and Rascal Flatts have been chosen to receive the Jim Reeves International Award, which is presented to an artist for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world.

Steve Buchanan strives to provide a gateway for fans around the globe to discover country music. A Tennessee native, Buchanan is the president of the Opry Entertainment Group. In that role, he has positioned the Grand Ole Opry to be viewed as a vital, world-class tourist destination that embraces contemporary and classic artists. After the Nashville flood of 2010, he led efforts to modernize the venue during its renovation. In addition, his executive producer role for ABC’s Nashville gives insight to the inner workings of Music Row. He is currently working on mounting a Broadway show based on the long-running TV show Hee Haw.

Rascal Flatts carried their high-energy Live & Loud Tour to Europe in July 2013, enjoying sold-out crowds, widespread television exposure and significant digital sales. The group performed a total of seven shows across Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Along with packed houses, the trio appeared on BBC’s Breakfast TV and grabbed the No. 1 spot on the UK iTunes country chart. They will return in March to Dublin and London as part of the all-star Country to Country 2014 event. Rascal Flatts will launch their Rewind Tour this spring, with dates scheduled throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Past recipients of the Jim Reeves International Award include Garth Brooks, Dick Clark, Roy Clark, Merv Griffin, Alan Jackson, Charlie Nagatani, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, and Lady Antebellum, among others.

Mae Boren Axton Award – Paul Moore has been chosen as the recipient of the Mae Boren Axton Award, which is given in recognition of years of dedication and service by an outstanding individual to the Academy of Country Music.

Paul Moore has been an integral part of the William Morris team in Nashville for more than 35 years. He began his career there in 1978 as a secretary to the head of the office. In time, he became part of the management team for William Morris and later William Morris Endeavor. For 23 years, he was co-head of the agency’s Nashville office. He remains involved in booking concert dates for WME clients at major fairs, rodeos, outdoor events and festivals, and oversees tour commitments for numerous country legends. Moore is a longtime board member for the Academy of Country Music and currently serves as Parliamentarian.

Past recipients of the Mae Boren Axton Award include John Dorris, Rod Essig, Gayle Holcomb, Jack Lameier, Marge Meoli, Ray Pilzak, Gaynelle Pitts, Gene Weed, Tommy Wiggins and David Young.

Poet’s Award – Jack Clement (awarded posthumously), Dean Dillon, Kris Kristofferson, and Buck Owens (awarded posthumously),have been selected to receive the Poet’s Award, which honors songwriters for outstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their careers in the field of country music.

“Cowboy” Jack Clement’scareer stretched back to Sun Records, where the Memphis native mixed 1950s recording sessions by Johnny Cash. Two of Cash’s early hits were written by Clement: “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” and “Guess Things Happen That Way.” A few years later in Texas, George Jones cut Clement’s “A Girl I Used to Know.” In Nashville, Clement opened a publishing company and signed Bob McDill, Allen Reynolds and Don Williams. Clement joined the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in April 2013, four months before his death.

Tennessee native Dean Dillon hitchhiked to Nashville to pursue a music career as a recording artist, but he found his biggest successes as a prolific songwriter. He penned hits for George Jones (“Tennessee Whiskey”), Keith Whitley (“Miami My Amy”), Toby Keith (“A Little Too Late”) and Kenny Chesney (“A Lot of Things Different”). Dillon truly found his muse in George Strait, who built his legendary career on Dillon’s unique songs, including his debut single “Unwound” followed by “The Chair,” “Nobody in His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her,” “It Ain’t Cool to Be Crazy About You,” “Ocean Front Property,” “Marina Del Rey” and “If I Know Me” to name a few. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Kris Kristofferson emerged as a songwriting force in the 1970s. He used his widely varied experiences—from Rhodes Scholar to Army helicopter pilot to janitor at Nashville’s Columbia Studios—to craft some of the most emotionally compelling story songs ever written. His composition “For the Good Times,” recorded by Ray Price, received 1970 ACM Awards for Single Record and Song of the Year. In addition to solo success with “Why Me,” Kristofferson’s songs have been immortalized by Johnny Cash (“Sunday Morning Coming Down”), Janis Joplin (“Me and Bobbie McGee”), Ronnie Milsap (“Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends”) and Sammi Smith (“Help Me Make It Through the Night”). Born in Texas, Kristofferson joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004 and received the ACM Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award in 2005.

Buck Owens’ boisterous single “Love’s Gonna Live Here” spent an astonishing 16 weeks atop the country airplay chart in 1963. He followed that composition with more original material like “My Heart Skips a Beat,” “Together Again” and “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail,” writing the latter with Harlan Howard. An icon in the Bakersfield, Calif., country scene, Owens received the 1965 ACM Award for Male Vocalist of the Year and his band The Buckaroos won three consecutive ACM trophies. He joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996 and accepted the ACM Pioneer Award in 1988. Owens died in 2006.

Previous recipients of the Poet’s Award include Bill Anderson, Bobby Braddock, Guy Clark, Hank Cochran, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, Harlan Howard, Roger Miller, Fred Rose, Don Schlitz, Cindy Walker and Hank Williams.

INDUSTRY AWARDS

  • CASINO OF THE YEAR:                   Small Capacity – Mohegan Sun Wolf Den – Uncasville, CT

Medium Capacity – Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, CT

  • NIGHTCLUB OF THE YEAR:              Billy Bob’s Texas – Fort Worth, TX
  • VENUE OF THE YEAR :                     Small Capacity – Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater – Austin, TX

Medium Capacity – Grand Ole Opry House – Nashville, TN

Large Capacity – Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN

 
  • DON ROMEO TALENT BUYER OF THE YEAR: Nicole More – Neste Event Marketing
  • PROMOTER OF THE YEAR:            Brian O’Connell – Live Nation

STUDIO RECORDING AWARDS (FORMERLY THE MBI AWARDS)

  • BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR:         Michael Rhodes
  • DRUMMER OF THE YEAR:             Shannon Forrest
  • GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR:   Rob McNelley
  • PIANO/KEYBOARDS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Charlie Judge
  • STEEL GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Paul Franklin
  • AUDIO ENGINEER OF THE YEAR: Justin Niebank
  • PRODUCER OF THE YEAR:             Dann Huff
  • SPECIALTY INSTRUMENT(S) PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Bryan Sutton

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

  • SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR: Shane McAnally

About the Academy of Country Music Awards
The 49th Academy of Country Music Awards is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry.  The show is produced for television by dick clark productions and will be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, R.A. Clark and Barry Adelman are executive producers.  Bob Romeo is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

MERLE HAGGARD TO BE HONORED WITH THE CRYSTAL MILESTONE AWARD AT THE 49TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS

acm

WORKING MAN’S POET: A TRIBUTE TO MERLE HAGGARD
TO BE RELEASED ON BROKEN BOW RECORDS
Star-Studded Tribute Album Featuring New Recordings Of The Hag’s Classics By Some Of Today’s Hottest Country Stars In Stores On April 1st

PLUS
MERLE HAGGARD TO BE HONORED WITH THE CRYSTAL MILESTONE AWARD
AT THE 49TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS

TELECAST TO AIR LIVE FROM THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA IN LAS VEGAS
SUNDAY, APRIL 6, 2014 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

Broken Bow Records is pleased to announce the April 1st release of a star-studded tribute compilation honoring one of the greatest Country music icons of our time – Merle Haggard.  Additionally, the Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions announced today that Merle Haggard, will be honored with the Crystal Milestone Award at the 49th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS to commemorate Haggard’s prolific 50 years in country music. The ceremony, which will be co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, is produced for television by dick clark productions and will  be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 6 (8:00 PM-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Merle Haggard became the ACM’s first Entertainer of the Year when the award was presented for 1970. That win marked the Academy’s first Triple Crown achievement, as Haggard had already accepted the Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year award for 1965 and the first of six Male Vocalist of the Year awards the following year. Two of his most celebrated songs have also collected Single Record and Song of the Year awards from the ACM: “Okie From Muskogee” (1969) and “Are the Good Times Really Over” (1982). A winner of the ACM Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award and Poet’s Award, Haggard joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2014, he will celebrate the milestone of 50years in country music.

Past recipients of the Crystal Milestone Award include Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Gayle Holcomb, Jennifer Nettles and Taylor Swift.

The musical celebration, WORKING MAN’S POET: A TRIBUTE TO MERLE HAGGARD, features brand new covers of some of the living legend’s biggest hits, recorded by some of the hottest stars in Country music today.  The album includes performances by: Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Kristy Lee Cook, Ben Haggard, Randy Houser, Toby Keith, Dustin Lynch, Joe Nichols, Jake Owen, Parmalee, Thompson Square and James Wesley.

WORKING MAN’S POET:  A TRIBUTE TO MERLE HAGGARD

Official Track Listing:

  1. Misery And Gin (performed by Randy Houser)
  2. Footlights (performed by Joe Nichols)
  3. Going Where The Lonely Go (performed by Jason Aldean)
  4. Today I Started Loving You Again (performed by Kristy Lee Cook)
  5. Carolyn (performed by Toby Keith)
  6. Pancho And Lefty (performed by Luke Bryan & Dierks Bentley)
  7. Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down (* performed by Garth Brooks)
  8. You Take Me For Granted (performed by Thompson Square)
  9. Mama Tried  (performed by Ben Haggard)
  10. That’s The Way Love Goes  (performed by Dustin Lynch)
  11. Make Up and Faded Blue Jeans (performed by Jake Owen)
  12. I’m A Lonesome Fugitive  (performed by James Wesley)
  13. Workin’ Man Blues (performed by Parmalee)
  14. Are The Good Times Really Over (performed by Jason Aldean)
  15. Let’s Chase Each Other Around The Room (performed by Thompson Square)
  16. I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink (performed by Dustin Lynch)
  17. The Fightin’ Side Of Me  (performed by James Wesley)
  18. My Favorite Memory (performed by Joe Nichols)
  19. Ramblin’ Fever (performed by Randy Houser)
  20. Sing Me Back Home (performed by Ben Haggard)

*Appears only on Walmart exclusive

The album will be available both in select stores and digitally on Tuesday, April 1st.

merle haggard

ABOUT THE LEGENDARY MERLE HAGGARD:
At the age of 76, the veteran singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer/bandleader is still making some of the most compelling music of his long and storied career.  It almost goes without saying that Merle Haggard is widely regarded as country music’s greatest living recording artist.  A rugged individualist who simultaneously embodies and transcends the genre, Haggard is both a seminal superstar and an unrepentant outsider.  Over the course of a remarkably prolific five-decade career, he’s consistently shown himself to be an uncompromising creative force, far more concerned with pursuing his iconoclastic vision than with meeting the expectations of the music-industry establishment.

 

Along the way, Haggard has scored no less than 39 #1 country hits; won various Grammy, CMA and ACM awards; become the only California-born artist in the Country Music Hall of Fame; been the only country performer ever featured on the cover of the jazz bible Downbeat; as well as the only man to be invited to perform at the White House and invited to serve time in San Quentin Penitentiary.

 

His prison experiences led Haggard—who’d begun playing guitar at the age of 12 and worshipped Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams—to take stock of his life and decide to pursue a career in music.  Upon his 1962 release, he became a fixture on Bakersfield, California’s thriving country music scene, working manual labor jobs by day and playing local clubs by night.  A string of singles for the local Tally label led to a deal with Capitol Records, and in 1965 Haggard launched an incredible string of classic hits including “Swinging Doors,” “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive,” “Branded Man,” “Sing Me Back Home,” “Today I Started Loving You Again,” “Mama Tried,” “Hungry Eyes,” “Silver Wings,” “Workin’ Man Blues,” “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” “If We Make It Through December” and the much-misunderstood  “Okie From Muskogee.”

 

ABOUT BROKEN BOW RECORDS:
Founded by President/ CEO Benny Brown in 1997, BROKEN BOW RECORDS continues to make a name for itself in the Country music industry. The flagship label which boasts a roster of talented artists that includes multi-platinum superstar Jason Aldean, #1 chart-topper Dustin Lynch, American Idol’s Kristy Lee Cook, James Wesley and newcomer Jackie Lee, has spurned two additional labels, a management company and a publishing company – making the BBR Music Group umbrella the largest independent Country label group in the United States.  Founded in March 2009 as a continuation of the passion and determination that spawned the success of Broken Bow, STONEY CREEK RECORDS boasts a roster which includes 2x ACM and 2012 CMA “Vocal Duo of the Year” and GRAMMY nominees Thompson Square; ACM and CMA nominee Randy Houser as well as #1 chart-toppers Parmalee and newcomer Lindsay Ell.  RED BOW RECORDS, in partnership with the country’s largest independent distributor RED Distribution, a Division of Sony, was founded in October 2012 and boasts an artist roster of 4x GRAMMY nominee and CMA and ACM award winner Joe Nichols and hot Country newcomers David Fanning and Chase Bryant.  The BBR Music Group is headquartered in Nashville, TN and is distributed by Sony RED. http://www.bbrmusicgroup.com

 

About the Academy of Country Music Awards
The 49th Academy of Country Music Awards is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry.  The show is produced for television by dick clark productions and will be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, R.A. Clark and Barry Adelman are executive producers.  Bob Romeo is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

 

Off-Camera Winners Announced for the 48th Annual ACM Awards

acm 48th

JASON ALDEAN, GUY CLARK, BLAKE SHELTON, KEITH WHITLEY,
TOMMY WIGGINS, HANK WILLIAMS, THE JUDDS & LADY ANTEBELLUM
ANNOUNCED AS OFF-CAMERA WINNERS
FOR THE 48th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS

* * *

Special Award Recipients, Industry Awards, MBI Awards and
Songwriter of the Year Winners Announced

Today, the Academy of Country Music is announcing the winners of awards that will not be televised during the 48th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, due to time constraints. The ceremony will be telecast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. Special Awards, Industry Awards, MBI (Musician, Bandleader, Instrumentalist) and Songwriter of the Year honorees will be feted at the 7th Annual ACM Honors event on September 10, 2013 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

The Academy of Country Music Special Awards are voted on by the ACM Board of Directors and are awarded during years where the Board of Directors feels there are clear and deserving candidates. Industry Awards are voted on by professional members of the Academy. The MBI ballot is voted on by professional members of the Academy classified in the Artist-Entertainer/Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist category, and the Producer-Engineer-Studio Manager sub-category (contained within the Affiliated category).  The Songwriter of the Year ballot is voted on by professional members of the Academy in the following categories: Artist-Entertainer/Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist, Composer, Music Publisher/PRO, Record Company, and the Producer/Engineer/Studio Manager subcategory (contained within the Affiliated category).

SPECIAL AWARDS

Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award – Keith Whitley and The Judds have been chosen to receive the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award, honoring individuals who are pioneers in the country music genre.

Keith Whitley brought a blend of traditional bluegrass, classic country and contemporary songwriting influences to his timeless recordings. Although his catalog is regrettably small, this Kentucky native stands as one of the most respected vocalists of his era, thanks to a rich baritone that effortlessly conveyed the emotion of any song. Whitley first entered the Top 10 in 1986 with “Ten Feet Away,” setting the stage for enduring ballads like “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “When You Say Nothing at All” and “I’m No Stranger to the Rain,” all of which reached No. 1 before Whitley died in 1989 at age 33.

 

The Judds gave country music an acoustic boost in the 1980s, ultimately racking up 20 Top 10 hits. They picked up seven consecutive ACM Awards in the Vocal Duet category, as well as a Song of the Year trophy for “Why Not Me.” Their winning streak began in 1984 with “Mama He’s Crazy,” the first of 14 No. 1 hits. Fans also identified with the ups and downs of Naomi and Wynonna’s mother-daughter relationship, adding another dimension to modern classics like the nostalgic “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)” and the empowering “Love Can Build a Bridge.”

 

Past recipients of the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award include Alabama, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Jerry Reed, Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins, Kenny Rogers, Billy Sherrill, Ricky Skaggs, Mel Tillis, Randy Travis, Conway Twitty, Porter Wagoner, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Bob Wills and Dwight Yoakam, among others.

Crystal Milestone Award – Jason Aldean has been chosen to receive the Crystal Milestone Award, which is given to an artist or industry leader to commemorate a specific, remarkable achievement.

Jason Aldean soared to stadium headliner status in 2012. He sold out his first stadium show last year, moving more than 27,000 tickets for Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. All tickets were purchased more than two months in advance. Aldean’s arena show tickets went quickly too. He sold 24,000 tickets in two minutes for his Indianapolis show, along with 20,000 seats in just four minutes in St. Louis. Aldean is now swinging for the rafters with his “Night Train Tour.” Stadium shows on the itinerary include Wrigley Field in Chicago, Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA, and Boston’s Fenway Park—which sold out in seven minutes, setting a venue record and making Aldean the first country act to headline the historic ballpark. The Academy is honoring Aldean for this remarkable achievement.

Past recipients of the Crystal Milestone Award include Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Gayle Holcomb, Jennifer Nettles and Taylor Swift.

Gene Weed Special Achievement Award – Blake Shelton has been chosen to receive the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award, which acknowledges unprecedented, unique and outstanding individual achievement in country music.

Blake Shelton stepped into his role on NBC’s The Voice as a well-known figure in country music circles. Now he’s a household name to millions of viewers who appreciate his lively personality, his honest approach toward aspiring talent and his camaraderie with pop stars like Christine Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine. That broad appeal paved the way for a network special to coincide with his first holiday album, Cheers, It’s Christmas. A three-time ACM Awards co-host, Shelton is climbing the charts with “Sure Be Cool If You Did.” Look for his “Ten Times Crazier Tour” starting in July.

Past recipients of the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award include Garth Brooks, George Burns, Jeff Foxworthy, Willie Nelson and George Strait.

Jim Reeves International Award – Lady Antebellum has been chosen to receive the Jim Reeves International Award, which is presented to an artist for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world.

Lady Antebellum seized the day with their “Own the Night World Tour,” ultimately performing to more than a million fans in 11 countries and three continents. Along with packing venues in the U.S. and Canada, the trio sold out three shows at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Band members Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott also accepted the honor of opening for a musical hero, Bruce Springsteen, at London’s Hard Rock Calling. A three-time winner in the ACM Vocal Group category, Lady Antebellum will release its fourth studio album, Golden, in May, likely taking their newest hit “Downtown” around the globe.

Past recipients of the Jim Reeves International Award include Garth Brooks, Dick Clark, Roy Clark, Merv Griffin, Alan Jackson, Charlie Nagatani, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, among others.

Mae Boren Axton Award – Tommy Wiggins has been chosen as the recipient of the Mae Boren Axton Award, which is given in recognition of years of dedication and service by an outstanding individual to the Academy of Country Music.

Tommy Wiggins co-founded the organization that is now the Academy of Country Music. While pursuing opportunities performing on radio and on stage, Wiggins lived in Tucson and Nashville before relocating in 1960 to Los Angeles, where he appeared on local television shows. Along with releasing several singles on Stadium Records, Wiggins launched a radio industry publication titled D.J.’s Digest. In 1964, he teamed with songwriter Eddie Miller and club owners Mickey and Chris Christensen to stage a Los Angeles-based awards show and form the Country Western Music Academy–later renamed the Academy of Country Music–to draw attention to country artists based on the West Coast.

Past recipients of the Mae Boren Axton Award include John Dorris, Rod Essig, Gayle Holcomb, Jack Lameier, Marge Meoli, Ray Pilzak, Gaynelle Pitts, Gene Weed and David Young.

Poet’s Award – Guy Clark and Hank Williams have been selected to receive the Poet’s Award, which honors songwriters for outstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their careers in the field of country music.

Guy Clark has earned the respect of countless songwriters by crafting his compositions with wit, wisdom and warmth. This native Texan made a lasting impression with his 1975 debut album Old No. 1. His extensive songwriting catalog includes cuts by Johnny Cash (“Texas 1947”), Kenny Chesney (“Hemingway’s Whiskey”), Rodney Crowell (“She’s Crazy for Leaving”) and Ricky Skaggs (“Heartbroke”). Meanwhile, his own recordings of “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train” make listeners feel as though they know him personally. The 2011 collection, This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark, received a Grammy nomination for best folk album.

Hank Williams remains one of the most revered songwriters in history. A native of Alabama, Williams’ commercial style found a champion in music publisher Fred Rose in 1946. Despite a brief career, Williams catalog includes “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart.” His compositions have been recorded by Tony Bennett, Jimmy Buffett, Norah Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charley Pride, Linda Ronstadt and Hank Williams Jr., among many others. The legendary figure was found dead on Jan. 1, 1953. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 and received the 1973 ACM Pioneer Award. Hank Williams will be honored posthumously.

Previous recipients of the Poet’s Award include Bill Anderson, Bobby Braddock, Hank Cochran, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, Harlan Howard, Roger Miller, Fred Rose, Don Schlitz and Cindy Walker.

INDUSTRY AWARDS

CASINO OF THE YEAR – Red Rock Casino & Resort – Las Vegas, NV

NIGHTCLUB OF THE YEAR – Joe’s Bar – Chicago, IL

VENUE OF THE YEAR – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN

DON ROMEO TALENT BUYER OF THE YEAR – Jerry Hufford – Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

PROMOTER OF THE YEAR – Ed Warm – Joe’s Bar

MBI (MUSICIAN, BANDLEADER, INSTRUMENTALIST) AWARDS:

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – Jay Joyce

AUDIO ENGINEER OF THE YEAR – Chuck Ainlay

BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Jimmie Lee Sloas

PERCUSSIONIST/DRUMMER OF THE YEAR – Matt Chamberlain

FIDDLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Aubrey Haynie

GUITARIST OF THE YEAR – J.T. Corenflos

PIANO/KEYBOARDS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Michael Rojas

SPECIALTY INSTRUMENT(S) PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Ilya Toshinsky

STEEL GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Mike Johnson

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR – Dallas Davidson

About the Academy of Country Music Awards
The 48th Academy of Country Music Awards is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry.  The show is produced for television by dick clark productions and will be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.  Allen Shapiro, Orly Adelson and R.A. Clark are executive producers.  Barry Adelman is producer, and Bob Bardo is the executive in charge of production. Bob Romeo is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.