Last night (August 25th), the Academy of Country Music® presented the 14th Annual Academy of Country Music Honors™, recognizing the special award honorees, and Industry and Studio Recording Award winners from the 55th and 56th Academy of Country Music Awards™.
The event featured a star-studded lineup of live performances and award presentations celebrating Special Awards recipients Joe Galante and Rascal Flatts (ACM Cliffie Stone Icon Award), Lady A and Ross Copperman (ACM Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award), Luke Combs and Michael Strickland (ACM Gene Weed Milestone Award), Dan + Shay (ACM Jim Reeves International Award), RAC Clark (ACM Mae Boren Axton Service Award), Toby Keith (ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award), Loretta Lynn, Gretchen Peters and Curly Putman (ACM Poet’s Award) and Ken Burns’s Country Music (ACM Tex Ritter Film Award).
Also honored were winners of the 55th ACM Industry Awards, 55th & 56th ACM Studio Recording Awards, along with 55th and 56th ACM Songwriter of the Year winner, Hillary Lindsey.
The show, featuring performances from Alan Jackson and Lee Ann Womack, Keith Urban, Lauren Alaina, Sam Williams, Caylee Hammack, Trace Adkins, Ashley McBryde, HARDY, Chris Janson, Ronnie Dunn, Brittney Spencer and many others, will air live on Circle TV on Tuesday, November 23 at 8pm ET with encore on Wednesday, November 24 at 12am ET.
- In honor of legendary artist Loretta Lynn receiving the ACM Poet’s Award, Lee Ann Womack and Alan Jackson teamed up to perform their rendition of Lynn’s “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man.”
- Rascal Flatts were tributed by a trio of female artists that have toured with the band in honor of the band’s ACM Cliffie Stone Icon Award. Songs included “Bless The Broken Road” performed by Carly Pearce, “My Wish” performed by Caylee Hammack and “Life is a Highway” performed by RaeLynn.
- In honor of Hillary Lindsey being named ACM Songwriter of the Year for 2019 and 2020, HARDY, Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson teamed up to perform their hit song “One Beer,” which Lindsey helped co-write with HARDY and Jake Mitchell. Alaina accepted the award on Lindsey’s behalf.
- After 23 years of producing the ACM Awards, and serving as interim Executive Director, RAC Clark was named recipient of the ACM Mae Boren Axton Service Award for his longtime dedication to the Academy. The award was presented to him by Country Music industry leader and friend Sarah Trahern, followed by Alan Jackson and Lee Ann Womack’s performance of “Murder on Music Row.”
- Now with a total of 21 ACM Award wins, Toby Keith was honored with the ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award, which was accepted on his behalf by fellow artist Trace Adkins. Adkins honored Keith with a performance of his hit, “Love Me If You Can.”
- In celebration of Ken Burns’ renowned docuseries Country Music receiving the Tex Ritter FILM Award, Sam Williams performed a rendition of “I’m So Lonesome I could Cry,” written and originally performed by his grandfather, country icon Hank Williams. Sam Williams received a special visit backstage by his father Hank Williams Jr. who proudly watched his son’s ACM debut side stage.
- For their generosity and participation with ACM Lifting Lives, both Lady A and Ross Copperman were awarded with this year’s Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award. ACM Lifting Lives Executive Director Lyndsay Cruz introduced both honorees, while ACM Lifting Lives camper Clancey Hopper presented the awards. Keith Urban recognized Copperman with a performance of his own “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” a hit which Copperman co-wrote.
- In advance of Gretchen Peters accepting the ACM Poet’s Award, Brittney Spencer made her Ryman debut with her powerful performance of “Independence Day” that had the audience on its feet.