Tonight, the Academy of Country Music hosted the 10th Annual ACM Honors™, an evening dedicated to celebrating special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards. Portions of the event, which was held at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN, were taped for a two-hour special that will air on Friday, September 9, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.
Hosted by ten-time ACM Award-winning group, Lady Antebellum, the evening featured an all-star lineup of live performances, award presentations celebrating honorees including Special Awards recipients Glen Campbell, Crystal Gayle, Eddie Rabbitt, (awarded posthumously), Tanya Tucker, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Jeff Walker (awarded posthumously), Jimmy Webb, Little Big Town and The Statler Brothers. Studio Recording Awards recipients included Jim ‘Moose’ Brown, Dave Cobb, Shannon Forrest, Paul Franklin, Justin Niebank, Danny Rader, Michael Rhodes and Derek Wells. Ross Copperman was also honored as Songwriter of the Year.
Additionally, Jason Aldean became the seventh artist to ever accept the prestigious ACM Triple Crown Award; an award that is given to those who have won New Male/Female Vocalist of the Year, Male/Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year.
In another historic moment, following her performance of “Misery and Gin,” Miranda Lambert was presented onstage with the inaugural ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award, honoring Lambert for her uncompromising spirit. The ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award, created this year, is awarded to a singer-songwriter and performer whose career reflects the uncompromising integrity and steadfastness of spirit embodied by the late Merle Haggard. Beyond crafting iconic songs and delivering genuine performances, this deserving artist—like Haggard—is characterized by their singular vision in carving an indelible path in country music.
Artists who performed in tribute to honorees included Kelsea Ballerini (“Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”) in tribute to Crystal Gayle, Dierks Bentley (“Freedom”) in tribute to Ross Copperman, joined onstage by participants of the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp. Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell (“I Love A Rainy Night”) in tribute to Eddie Rabbitt, Alicia Keys and Cam (“Girl Crush”) in tribute to Little Big Town, Maren Morris (“Delta Dawn”) in tribute to Tanya Tucker, Chris Young and Dan + Shay (“Flowers on the Wall”) in tribute to The Statler Brothers, and The Band Perry (“MacArthur Park”) in tribute to Jimmy Webb.
In a special moment that concluded the show, Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley performed an all-star medley in a tribute to Glen Campbell. The medley consisted of Campbell’s hits “Southern Nights,” “Gentle On My Mind,” “Wichita Linemen,” “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” and the iconic “Rhinestone Cowboy.”
Presenters who took the stage included Blake Shelton, Cole Swindell, Dierks Bentley, Emmylou Harris, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris, Martina McBride, Mike Fisher, Thomas Rhett, and Toby Keith.
See below for a full list of award recipients:
ACM Lifting Lives Gary Haber Award – Carrie Underwood has been chosen to receive the ACM Lifting Lives Gary Haber Award. This new award, named in honor of late ACM Lifting Lives Chairman Gary Haber, was created by the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors to recognize a country music artist or industry professional who is committed to serving others, has a generosity of spirit and shows a dedication to helping those in need.
Career Achievement Award – Glen Campbell has been chosen to receive the Career Achievement Award, which honors artists who have advanced the popularity and acceptance of country music through their endeavors in the entertainment industry in multiple areas during the preceding calendar year.
Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award – Crystal Gayle, Tanya Tucker and The Statler Brothers have been chosen to receive the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award honoring individuals who are pioneers in the country music genre.
Crystal Milestone Award – Little Big Town has been chosen to receive the Crystal Milestone Award, which is given to an artist or industry leader to commemorate a specific, remarkable achievement.
Jim Reeves International Award – Jeff Walker (awarded posthumously) has been chosen to receive the Jim Reeves International Award, which is presented to an artist or industry leader for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world.
Mae Boren Axton Award – Keith Urban has been chosen as the recipient of the Mae Boren Axton Award, which is given to an outstanding individual recognizing years of dedication and service to the Academy of Country Music.
Poet’s Award – Eddie Rabbitt (awarded posthumously) and Jimmy Webb have been chosen 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.
Tex Ritter Award – As previously announced, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors has been chosen as the recipient of the Tex Ritter Award, which is given to recognize a movie released receiving significant exposure that featured or utilized country music, during the preceding calendar year. This award was presented to Dolly Parton during the live 51st Academy of Country Music Awards telecast on April 3rd.
- CASINO OF THE YEAR– SMALL CAPACITY: Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun – Uncasville, CT
- CASINO OF THE YEAR– MEDIUM CAPACITY: Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, CT
- FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR:Stagecoach – Indio, CA
- NIGHTCLUB OF THE YEAR: Boondocks – Springfield, IL
- VENUE OF THE YEAR– SMALL CAPACITY: The Rave/Eagles Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI
- VENUE OF THE YEAR– MEDIUM CAPACITY: Ascend Amphitheatre – Nashville, TN
- VENUE OF THE YEAR– LARGE CAPACITY: Gorge Amphitheatre – Quincy, WA
- DON ROMEO TALENT BUYER OF THE YEAR: Gil Cunningham – Neste Event Marketing
- PROMOTER OF THE YEAR: Brian O’Connell – Live Nation
STUDIO RECORDING AWARDS
- BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Michael Rhodes
- DRUMMER OF THE YEAR: Shannon Forrest
- GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Derek Wells
- PIANO/KEYBOARDS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jim ‘Moose’ Brown
- SPECIALTY INSTRUMENT(S) PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Danny Rader
- STEEL GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Paul Franklin
- AUDIO ENGINEER OF THE YEAR: Justin Niebank
- PRODUCER OF THE YEAR: Dave Cobb
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
- SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR: Ross Copperman