ACM special awards announced for Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, among others
Photo: Image by Getty Images for BMI
The 49th Annual ACM Awards will bestow honors on some of the biggest names in country music during the live telecast on Sunday, April 6. But beforehand, the Academy of Country Music has announced the winners of awards that will not be televised during the show because of time constraints. Recipients of Special Awards, Industry Awards, Studio Recording Awards and Songwriter of the Year honors will be recognized at the 8th Annual ACM Honors event, to be held Sept. 9 at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium.
Toby Keith and Ronnie Milsap have been chosen to receive the Career Achievement Award, honoring an individual artist, duo, group or multiple artist collaboration that has advanced the popularity and acceptance of country music through their endeavors in the entertainment industry in multiple areas during the preceding calendar year. Past recipients of the Career Achievement Award include John Anderson, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Johnny Paycheck, Carl Perkins, Reba McEntire and Kenny Rogers.
Carrie Underwood has been chosen to receive the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award, which acknowledges unprecedented, unique and outstanding individual achievement in country music. Past recipients include Garth Brooks, George Burns, Jeff Foxworthy, Willie Nelson, Blake Shelton and George Strait.
Rascal Flatts, along with Opry Entertainment Group president Steve Buchanan, will receive the Jim Reeves International Award, presented for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world. Past recipients include Garth Brooks, Dick Clark, Roy Clark, Merv Griffin, Alan Jackson, Charlie Nagatani, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, and Lady Antebellum, among others.
Cowboy Jack Clement (posthumously), Dean Dillon, Kris Kristofferson, and Buck Owens (posthumously), have been selected 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. Previous recipients of the Poet's Award include Bill Anderson, Bobby Braddock, Guy Clark, Hank Cochran, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, Harlan Howard, Roger Miller, Fred Rose, Don Schlitz, Cindy Walker and Hank Williams.
Merle Haggard, as previously announced, has been chosen to receive the Crystal Milestone Award, given to an artist or industry leader to commemorate a specific, remarkable achievement. Past recipients of the Crystal Milestone Award include Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Gayle Holcomb, Jennifer Nettles and Taylor Swift.
The ACM membership has also selected the following honorees.
STUDIO RECORDING AWARDS (FORMERLY THE MBI AWARDS)
Bass Player of the Year: Michael Rhodes
Drummer of the Year: Shannon Forrest
Guitar Player of the Year: Rob McNelley
Piano/Keyboards Player of the Year: Charlie Judge
Steel Guitar Player of the Year: Paul Franklin
Audio Engineer of the Year: Justin Niebank
Producer of the Year: Dann Huff
Specialty Instrument(s) Player of the Year: Bryan Sutton
Songwriter of the Year: Shane McAnally
Casino of the Year: Small Capacity -- Mohegan Sun Wolf Den - Uncasville, Conn.; Medium Capacity - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.
Nightclub of the Year: Billy Bob's Texas, Fort Worth, Texas
Venue of the Year: Small Capacity - Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater, Austin, Texas; Medium Capacity - Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville; Large Capacity - Bridgestone Arena, Nashville