Ricky Skaggs will receive ASCAP's most prestigious award this fall. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is set to honor the prolific bluegrass and country music artist with its Founders Award at their 54th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards.

The Founders Award is presented to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring, influencing and enriching music creators for generations to come. Previous recipients include George Strait, Alan Jackson, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Melissa Etheridge and Neil Young.

"For more than four decades, Ricky Skaggs has been a musical force in bluegrass and country music," says ASCAP President Paul Williams. "His incredible gifts as a musician combined with his boundless creativity and energy continue to fuel a passion for American roots music around the world. A national treasure, he has influenced generations of fellow music creators, and we are honored to present him with the ASCAP Founders Award."

As a renowned innovator in bluegrass and country music, Skaggs is certainly deserving of the ASCAP Founders Award. Throughout his illustrious career, the multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter has earned 12 No. 1 singles, 14 Grammy Awards, nine ACM Awards and eight CMA Awards, including Entertainer of the Year. He has three honorary doctorates, has been inducted into the GMA's Gospel Music Hall of Fame and, in 2015, received an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1982.

Known for hit songs such as "Country Boy" and "You May See Me Walkin'," Skaggs released his most recent studio album in 2014, a collaboration with his wife, Sharon White, of the well-known country music group the Whites. Skaggs has collaborated with countless music acts from multiple genres; everyone from Vince Gill to Alison Krauss to pianist Burce Hornsby has shared the stage with Skaggs, resulting in award-winning collaborations and national tours.

Although he and White live in Nashville, Skaggs is frequently on the road, touring with his band, Kentucky Thunder; Hornsby; and, most recently, his wife and acclaimed guitarist Ry Cooder.

The 2016 ASCAP Country Music Awards will take place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Oct. 31.

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