Luke Bryan, Eric Church and More Announced as 2015 ACM Special Awards Recipients
Recipients of Special Awards, as well as industry and studio recording category winners, as part of the 2015 ACM Awards have been announced, and there are a few country stars who have to dust off their trophy cases early, including Luke Bryan and Eric Church.
Due to time constraints, the winners of the Special Awards and the industry and studio recording category honorees will not be televised during the 50th ACM Awards ceremony on April 19, but they're receiving some pretty exciting honors nonetheless.
The Career Achievement Award is being presented to Alabama because of the group's role in advancing the popularity and acceptance of country music through their musical contributions in the entertainment industry in the past year. The legendary band released the Angels Among Us: Hymns and Gospel Favorites album and the Alabama & Friends at the Ryman live CD/DVD in 2014 -- but their contributions go much deeper than that. Frontman Randy Owen celebrated the 25th anniversary of his call to country radio to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and to date, the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids initiative has raised more than $500 million. Past recipients of this prestigious award include Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw and many more.
Loretta Lynn, a living legend in country music, has been chosen to receive this year's Crystal Milestone Award. This honor is unique because it commemorates a specific, remarkable achievement, and in Lynn's case, she celebrated her 50th anniversary in country music in 2014, with new music expected this year. Merle Haggard received this award in 2014, and Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Nettles are just a few of the past honorees.
Bryan is up for four trophies at the 2015 ACM Awards and, as the just-announced recipient of the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award, he won't go home empty handed. This award acknowledges unprecedented, unique and outstanding individual achievement in country music, and that certainly describes Bryan. His double-platinum Crash My Party record saw six consecutive No. 1 singles, and his tour in 2014 reached 1.7 million fans. Plus, he toured Europe for the first time and will be the subject of a Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit this summer.
The Jim Reeves International Award, presented to an artist for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world, is being given to Church this year. The "Springsteen" hitmaker has taken his music across borders -- both literally, throughout the world, and figuratively, in the music scene. He toured Europe in 2014, sharing his music across 12 major markets, with his worldwide fan club, the Church Choir, tracking his every move. Church's ambitious international trek began in Dublin, Ireland, with dates following in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland; Manchester, United Kingdom; London, England; Amsterdam, Holland; Cologne, Hamburg and Munich, Germany; Malmo and Stockholm, Sweden; and Oslo, Norway. Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Alan Jackson, Buck Owens and several others have also received this award.
Other Special Awards include the Mae Boren Axton Award, being given in 2015 to Barry Adelman and Tim DuBois, for their years of dedication and service to the Academy of Country Music. Felice and Boudleaux Bryant (posthumously) and Bob McDill are set to receive the Poet's Award, for their musical and/or lyrical contributions in country music.
Luke Laird was named Songwriter of the Year, and Jay Joyce is receiving the Producer of the Year Award, among many other well-deserved industry and studio recording honorees. A complete list of these winners is below.
The Special Awards honorees will be feted during the ninth annual ACM Honors event, set to be held on Sept. 1 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Performers will be announced at a later date.
The 50th ACM Awards will be broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 19 at 8PM ET on CBS, with some of country's biggest stars on the ballots.
2015 ACM Awards Industry and Studio Recording Awards Winners
Small Capacity Casino of the Year: Hard Rock Live -- Biloxi, Miss.
Medium Capacity Casino of the Year: MGM Grand Casino -- Las Vegas, Nev.
Festival of the Year: Country Thunder USA: East -- Twin Lakes, Wis.
Nightclub of the Year: Joe’s Bar -- Chicago, Ill.
Small Capacity Venue of the Year: Ryman Auditorium -- Nashville, Tenn.
Medium Capacity Venue of the Year: Red Rocks Amphitheatre -- Morrison, Colo.
Large Capacity Venue of the Year: Hollywood Bowl -- Hollywood, Calif.
Don Romeo Talent Buyer of the Year : Sally Williams -- Ryman Auditorium
Promoter of the Year: Ed Warm -- Joe’s Live
Bass Player of the Year: Glenn Worf
Drummer of the Year: Greg Morrow
Guitar Player of the Year: Tom Bukovac
Piano/Keyboards Player of the Year: Michael Rojas
Specialty Instruments(s) Player of the Year: Ilya Toshinsky
Steel Guitar Player of the Year: Dan Dugmore
Audio Engineer of the Year: Chuck Ainlay
Producer of the Year: Jay Joyce
Songwriter of the Year: Luke Laird
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