Glen Campbell, Carrie Underwood and More Earn ACM Special Awards
Ahead of the 2016 ACM Awards on Sunday night (April 3), the Academy of Country Music has announced the winners of a few special trophies, studio recording categories and Songwriter of the Year.
Country superstar Carrie Underwood is the 2016 recipient of the ACM Lifting Lives Gary Haber Award, which recognizes an artist or industry professional "who is committed to serving others, has a generosity of spirit and shows a dedication to helping those in need." Underwood was one of the first country stars to partner with ACM Lifting Lives, the Academy's charitable arm, and is involved with, among others, Make-a-Wish, Operation Homefront and her own C.A.T.S. Foundation.
The 2016 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," will be given to Glen Campbell. The country icon is in the late stages of Alzheimer's, but his fight with the disease continues to inspire those both in the country music genre and not, and his story is raising awareness about Alzheimer's.
Crystal Gayle, Tanya Tucker and the Statler Brothers will each receive the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award, recognizing their trailblazing endeavors in country music, while the Crystal Milestone Award is being presented to Little Big Town. The honor commemorates "a specific, remarkable achievement" -- and for the country quartet, that's the success of their song "Girl Crush."
Posthumously, Jeff Walker will be honored with the Jim Reeves International Award, in recognition of his global contributions to country music. The Australian native, who founded the AristoMedia Group / Marco Music Group in 1980, after moving to Nashville in 1974, advocated for foreign-born artists and worked to grow country artists' overseas fan bases. Walker passed away in August of 2015; he was 65.
For his "years of dedication and service to the Academy of Country Music," Keith Urban will be given the Mae Boren Axton Award. The country star first appeared on the ACM Awards in 2001 and, since then, has performed at or presented during every show since, except for in 2007. He has won numerous ACM Awards himself and is an advocate for the Academy and ACM Lifting Lives.
For their musical and lyrical contributions to country music, Eddie Rabbitt (posthumously) and Jimmy Webb are each receiving the Poet's Award. And, as previously revealed, Dolly Parton has earned the Tex Ritter Award, for her Coat of Many Colors TV movie.
Studio Recording Awards in 2016 are going to Michael Rhodes (Bass Player of the Year), Shannon Forrest (Drummer of the Year), Derek Wells (Guitar Player of the Year), Jim "Moose" Brown (Piano / Keybords Player of the Year), Danny Rader (Specialty Instrument(s) Player of the Year), Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar Player of the Year), Justin Niebank (Audio Engineer of the Year) and Dave Cobb (Producer of the Year). Ross Copperman has been named Songwriter of the Year.
All Special Awards, studio recording honorees and the Songwriter of the Year will be lauded during the 2016 ACM Honors ceremony, which will take place this fall at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. The exception is Parton, who will receive the Tex Ritter Award during the televised 2016 ACM Awards, which are set to air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., on April 3, beginning at 8PM ET on CBS.
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