Craig Wiseman has been awarded a Governor's Arts Award in his home state of Mississippi. The singer received the Excellence in Music Award at a ceremony on Feb. 19.

Wiseman hails from Hattiesburg, Miss., and says that his roots have served as an inspiration throughout his career, which has included 24 No. 1 hits, as well as CMA Awards and ACM Awards nods.

"In Nashville, most people know four things about me. I'm a songwriter, I wear big loud shirts, I have a toenail painted red, and I'm from Mississippi," Wiseman says. "I have always proudly claimed Mississippi as my home. I am grateful to help carry the long tradition of Mississippians' contribution to American music.

"It is an honor to receive this award from the state that has been woven in my words and melodies and my heart from the very beginning," he adds. "I will return to the friends, the love and the warmth of my raising!"

Governor's Arts Awards nominations are made by the public, with a group of industry peers serving as judges to select winners. The Mississippi Arts Commission works to promote and support arts and eduction through funding by the state legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and other private sources.

Wiseman was recently honored with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Heritage Award at a ceremony in November. The award recognizes Wiseman's accomplishments in the music industry, as ASCAP's most-performed songwriter of the past 100 years. Alan Jackson also received an award that night, as the most-performed songwriter-artist of the last century.

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