Back to news 09/08/16


Dierks Bentley
Keith Urban
Lady Antebellum
The Band Perry


Tune-in alert for Friday (September 9th). The 10th Annual ACM Honors will air tomorrow beginning at 9pm ET/PT on CBS. The two-hour special, hosted by Lady Antebellum, is dedicated to celebrating honorees and off-camera category winners from this year’s ACM Awards. 

The television special features an all-star lineup of live performances as well as award presentations celebrating honorees, including Special Awards recipients Glen Campbell, Crystal Gayle, Eddie Rabbitt (awarded posthumously), Tanya Tucker, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Jeff Walker (awarded posthumously), Jimmy Webb, Little Big Town and The Statler Brothers. Additionally, Jason Aldean was honored with the ACM Triple Crown Award and Miranda Lambert was presented with the inaugural ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award. Ross Copperman was also honored as Songwriter of the Year.

Artists who performed in tribute to the honorees include:

  • Kelsea Ballerini performed “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” in tribute to Crystal Gayle.
  • Dierks Bentley performed “Freedom” in tribute to Ross Copperman, joined onstage by participants of the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp.
  • Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell performed “I Love A Rainy Night” in tribute to Eddie Rabbitt.
  • Alicia Keys and Cam performed a special duet of “Girl Crush” in tribute to Little Big Town.
  • Maren Morris performed “Delta Dawn” in tribute to Tanya Tucker.
  • Chris Young and Dan + Shay performed “Flowers on the Wall” in tribute to The Statler Brothers.
  • The Band Perry performed “MacArthur Park” in tribute to Jimmy Webb.
  • Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley performed an all-star medley in a special tribute to Glen Campbell. The medley consisted of Campbell’s hits “Southern Nights,” “Gentle On My Mind,” “Wichita Linemen,” “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” and the iconic “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

The Academy’s Studio Recording Award winners were celebrated in a pre-televised ceremony, and many served as the house band for the night under the direction of music director Frank Liddell. Backing up artists during performances on the telecast were ACM Guitarist of the Year Derek Wells, ACM Bass Player of the Year Michael Rhodes, ACM Specialty Instruments Player of the Year Danny Rader and ACM Piano/Keyboards Player of the Year Jim “Moose” Brown, who also served as bandleader.  Other Studio Recording Award honorees included Producer of the Year Dave Cobb, Audio Engineer of the Year Justin Niebank, Drummer of the Year Shannon Forrest and Steel Guitar Player of the Year Paul Franklin.

The ceremony presenters included Blake Shelton, Cole Swindell, Dierks Bentley, Emmylou Harris, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris, Martina McBride, Mike Fisher, Thomas Rhett, and Toby Keith. The event was taped at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN, and sponsored by City National Bank and Kendra Scott.

About ACM Honors™

ACM Honors™ is an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the Academy of Country Music Awards, including the Special Awards, Studio Recording Awards and Songwriter of the Year Award winners. The 10th Annual ACM Honors was taped on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and – for the first time ever – was produced for television by dick clark productions to be broadcast on Friday, September 9 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, R.A. Clark, Barry Adelman and Mark Bracco are executive producers. Tiffany Moon is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music. For more information, visit

Photo L-R: Shannon Campbell, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley and Toby Keith performing at the 10th Annual ACM Honors in tribute to Glen Campbell. Photo Credit: John Shearer/Getty Images for ACM/Courtesy of the Academy of Country Music)

Audio / Luke Bryan talks about honoring the late Eddie Rabbitt at this year's ACM Honors.


Luke Bryan (ACM Honors-Eddie Rabbitt) OC: …he had. :24
Me and Cole Swindell did a version honoring Eddie Rabbitt and we did ‘I Love A Rainy Night.’ It was fun being on stage with Cole. ‘I Love A Rainy Night’ was a song that I covered for years in my band in Georgia so it was like riding a bike up there, I just hopped up there and … And Eddie Rabbitt is one of those artists that you forget just how dynamic of a career that he had.”

Audio / Toby Keith talks about the legendary Glen Campbell, who he’s paying tribute to at the ACM Honors this week.


Toby Keith (Glen Campbell) OC: …to ’75? :57
“The amazing thing about Glen’s deal is, Glen looks so good. Glen looks 15 years younger than he is, and he has full-blown Alzheimer’s. It’s just really sad to think that he’s in as great a shape as he is physically, except for that debilitating affliction. But, man! He was one of the greatest guitar players of all time, and I don’t think most people realize that. I think most people saw him on the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour and some movies, and they just thought he’s a singer that sings some pop country. But Glen was one of the greatest guitar players of all time too, and even when he couldn’t remember his songs he could still play them without remembering the words. It’s nice that they’re paying tribute to Glen, ‘cause he’s certainly an icon and worked with the Wrecking Crew back in the day in L.A. which is probably the band that played on most of the hits that you heard from ’65 to ’75?”


Audio / Keith Urban says Glen Campbell is one of his biggest musical influences.


Keith Urban (Glen Campbell) OC: …guitar player. :22
“I’ve always been a fan of what I like to call guitartists, you know those guitar-artists like Glen Campbell, who’s probably one of my biggest influences; those guys who knew a good song, had a great voice and played great and just the all-around guys with a guitar, you know? When you think of Glen Campbell, you think of, I think of ‘Galveston,’ ‘Wichita Lineman,’ then I also think of him being a phenomenal guitar player.”


Toby Keith