Bentley, Jackson, Hunt, Rucker win ACM honors
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
– Dierks Bentley, Alan Jackson, Sam Hunt and Darius Rucker were among those received by Academy of Country Music as recipients of Special Awards from the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards.
Honorees will be celebrated during the 12th annual ACM honors an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners on Aug. 22 in Nashville.
ACM Cliffie Stone ICON Award - Jackson will receive the Cliffie Stone Icon Award. This award is presented to a country music artist, duo/group or industry leader who throughout their career has advanced the popularity of the genre through their contributions in multiple facets of the industry such as songwriting, recording, production, touring, film, television, literary works, philanthropic contributions and other goodwill efforts.
ACM Gary Haber Lifting Live Award - Rucker will receive the award presented to a country music artist, duo/group or industry professional who is devoted to improving lives through the power of music, has a generosity of spirit, and is committed to serving others, voted on by the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors.
Rucker has raised more than $1 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital through the "Darius & Friends" all-star concerts and tournaments - blending his two loves of music and golf. In his hometown of Charleston, S.C., Rucker serves on the board of the Charleston Children's Hospital and, for 15 years running, has staged the "Homegrown Concert" to raise money to buy school supplies and other necessities for local public-school children.
ACM Gene Weed Milestone Award - Hunt receives the award presented to a country music artist, duo/group or industry leader for a specific, unprecedented or outstanding achievement in the field of country music during the preceding calendar year. Hunt's single "Body Like a Back Road" broke and reset the genre's one-week streaming record 14 times during the year. The song spent a record 34 weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
ACM Mae Boren Axton Service Award - Mickey Christensen, Chris Christensen and Eddie Miller (all awarded posthumously). This award is presented to an outstanding country music artist, duo/group or industry leader in recognition of years of dedication and service to the Academy of Country Music.
Nightclub owners Mickey and Chris Christensen and performing songwriter Eddie Miller, along with performer Tommy Wiggins, co-founded the organization that became known as the Academy of Country Music. Chris acquired a stake in a jukebox company while Mickey owned and operated venues like Pike's Canteen, C&M Corral and the Red Barrel Niteclub. Two of the first musicians they hired were Buck and Bonnie Owens. West Coast entertainers started dropping by the Red Barrel, including Miller and Wiggins. A conversation led to an idea to emulate the Oscars and create an awards show. The earliest banquets took place at the Red Barrel before the first official ceremony was held at The Hollywood Palladium on Feb. 28, 1966. An Oklahoma native and former railroad worker, Miller wrote country hits like "Release Me," (Ray Price, Kitty Wells), "I Love You Honey" (Patsy Cline), "There She Goes" (Carl Smith) and "Thanks a Lot" (Ernest Tubb).
ACM Jim Reeves International Award - Rob Potts (awarded posthumously) received the award presented to an artist or industry leader for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world. Potts cultivated a country music connection between Australia and the U.S. Potts and his business partner Michael Chugg established the brand of CMC Rocks leading to festivals like CMC Rocks the Snowy, CMC Rocks the Hunter and CMC Rocks QLD. Potts died following a motorcycle accident in Australia last year at 65.
ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award - Bentley received the award presented to a singer-songwriter who is continuing the legacy of The Hag by following his/her own path, crafting great songs and epitomizing his spirit through genuine performances and great storytelling.
Berg has written major country hits across four consecutive decades. A Nashville native, Berg and co-writer Bobby Braddock scored a number 1 hit in 1983 with "Faking Love" by T.G. Sheppard and Karen Brooks. Berg was just 18 at the time. Four years later, Reba McEntire recorded "The Last One to Know" as the title track to her 1987 album. Trisha Yearwood recorded Berg's "Wrong Side of Memphis," "XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)," and "Everybody Knows," while Patty Loveless sang "I'm That Kind of Girl" and "You Can Feel Bad." Berg secured an ACM Song of the Year nomination for Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine." Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter released their rendition of "You and Tequila" in 2011, leading to another ACM Song of the Year nod. She has written singles for Suzy Bogguss, Dixie Chicks, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Linda Ronstadt, Gretchen Wilson and more. Berg was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008.
Wilson composed classics for George Jones, Charlie Rich and Tammy Wynette. Wilson grew up in Kentucky and moved to Nashville as a teenager after joining a gospel group. He spent much of the next decade pursuing a performing career until a song he co-wrote, "Baby, Baby (I Know You're a Lady)," hit number one for David Houston in 1970. Wilson's songwriting catalog grew to include Jones signatures like "A Picture of Me (Without You)," "The Grand Tour" and "The Door." Wilson co-wrote three of Rich's number one hits: "The Most Beautiful Girl," "A Very Special Love Song" and "I Love My Friend." Wynette found success with Wilson compositions such as "I'll See Him Through," "He Loves Me All the Way," "My Man" and "Another Lonely Song." Wilson signed Keith Whitley to RCA and co-produced several Kenny Chesney albums. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1996. Wilson passed away in 2017.
ACM Songwriter of the Year Award - Previously announced winner Rhett Akins will receive the award. Akins landed on the ACM Awards ballot 20 years ago in the New Male Vocalist category, thanks to hit singles like "That Ain't My Truck" and "Don't Get Me Started." A list of Akins' recent hits includes Dustin Lynch's "Small Town Boy," Jon Pardi's "Dirt on My Boots," Blake Shelton's "I Lived It" and Akins' son Thomas Rhett's "Star of the Show" and "Life Changes." Luke Bryan's "Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day," Jason Aldean's "When She Says Baby" and Shelton's "Honeybee" and "Boys Round Here."
More news for Academy of Country Music
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Lots to like about McKenna (when you could hear her)
Lori McKenna had lots of reasons to be in a good mood. First off, the opening band, a pop act called teenender included two of her sons. In two days, her 11th disc, "The Tree" would be released to glowing reviews.
So it would seem that this homecoming show was the ideal setting with all five kids, her husband, siblings, cousins, people who... »»»
Concert Review: With Sugarland, the wait was worth it
A few songs into Sugarland's show, Kristian Bush referenced the band's five-year gap between tours saying, "A lot of people think Jennifer and I have been on a five-year vacation. Actually, we've been very busy."
Clearly a lot of that time was spent in rehearsal. The duo put on a two-hour high energy gem that started out big... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other
name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical
implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining
a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
Headed into 2015, Imelda May was on a hit streak. Her rockabilly career was in full swing, nurtured by the likes of former Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland and guitar icon Jeff Beck. Her albums routinely topped the charts in her native Ireland.... »»»
For most artists, eight years is a fair amount of time in their careers. For Nikki Lane, eight years represents the entirety of her recorded history, and she's filled that relatively short time span with a highlight reel of impressive accomplishments, not the least of which would be actually... »»»
It's difficult to know where to start when praising Lori McKenna's "The Tree." It's so good in so many ways. Artists like Little Big Town and Tim McGraw have benefited greatly from recording McKenna songs, yet it's unlikely many mainstream country music fans recognize her name. »»»
When considering Mason Ramsey, one is reminded of the idea that big things come in small packages. At 11, the Golconda, Ill. native has gained a far bigger audience than the nearby WalMart where a video of him singing and yodeling through Hank Sr. "Lovesick Blues" went viral big time. »»»
Circus of Life
"Circus of Life," the title of Kinky Friedman's album, is a little misleading. It conjures up images of carnival barkers and circus freaks and songs as odd as its cigar-manufacturing, politically-astute novelist author/songwriter. The album is far more sensitive than that title suggests, though. In fact, it's a welcome respite from modern day circus-like life. »»»
Outlaws 'Til The End: Vol. 1
Many mainstream country artists will point to their Southern roots as proof of their country music credentials. These roots seemingly give them liberty to stray just as far from typical country music instrumentation as they like. However, how does this rule apply to Santa Barbara, Cal.'s DevilDriver, which applies its hard-rocking groove metal chops to a set of outlaw country music? »»»
Kick Out the Twang
The cliché goes "They live and breathe music." Consider the case of Speedbuggy front man Timbo, who led the band back from a seven year hiatus after he survived and healed from a brain aneurysm only to endure a major house fire five week before the band departed on a European tour. »»»
Epilogue: A Tribute to John Duffey
Not many folks are twice members of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame: John Duffey is. A legend in mandolin musicianship and lead and harmony singing, a gregarious stage personality and master of repartee and fashion sense (okay, perhaps not the latter: many remain scarred from the early '90s animal print pants)... »»»
Sugarland is back with "Bigger," its first studio album in nearly a decade. And its arrival says more about branding, than anything else. Although his voice is heard often enough on this album to make his presence felt, it's still difficult to get away from seeing Kristian Bush in the Oates to Hall or Ridgeley to Michael role in this duo. »»»
If there's a way in which Thompson Square can partner up, they will find it. The husband/wife and singer/songwriting team has added two more badges to their collaborations: parents (a baby son was born in 2016) and independent artists (the duo parted ways with Stoney Creek Records). »»»
This One's For You Too
Luke Combs has gotten a lot of life out of his album "This One's for You," which includes his breakthrough hit "Hurricane," as well as the popular single "When It Rains It Pours." This deluxe edition includes five new tracks, many of which are just as strong as the original 12.