The Academy of Country Music® announced today the recipients of the Special Awards for the 57th ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS™.
Honorees will be celebrated during the 15th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC HONORS™, frequently described as the “Country Music Industry’s favorite night,” during an unforgettable evening of live music and tributes. The event will take place Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. City National Bank is the presenting partner of the evening. Performers, host, and ticket on-sale information will be announced in the coming weeks.
“ACM Honors is truly a special and unique night as the entire Country Music community comes together to celebrate the achievements of artists, musicians, and industry executives that have made a positive impact on the industry during the prior year or over their careers,” said Academy of Country Music CEO Damon Whiteside. “Being the 15th anniversary of this event also makes it a night to remember some of the Academy’s pioneers who originally inspired these honors.”
Additionally, previously announced Songwriter of the Year winner HARDY, as well as Studio Recording Award and Industry Award winners, will be feted at ACM HONORS™. Examples of categories from Studio Recording and Industry Awards include Audio Engineer of the Year, Bass Player of the Year, Casino of the Year, Drummer of the Year, Electric Guitar Player of the Year, Fair/Rodeo of the Year, Piano/Keyboards Player of the Year, Producer of the Year, Specialty Instrument(s) Player of the Year, and Theater of the Year. For more information on ACM Industry Awards, visit here, and for more information on ACM Studio Recording Awards, visit here.
SPECIAL AWARD HONOREES:
ACM TRIPLE CROWN AWARD – Miranda Lambert will receive the prestigious ACM Triple Crown Award following her first win for ACM Entertainer of the Year at the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards. Lambert qualified for the Triple Crown Award after winning ACM Top New Female Vocalist, ACM Female Vocalist of the Year, and ACM Entertainer of the Year throughout her career, an honor only seven other artists have been awarded.
Miranda Lambert continues to reign as the most decorated artist in the history of the Academy of Country Music, most recently earning her second ACM Video of the Year award and her first ACM Entertainer of the Year title at the 57th ACM Awards, bringing her career total to 37 ACM awards. Additional highlights include a record-setting nine consecutive ACM Female Artist of the Year awards, ACM Song of the Decade for “The House That Built Me,” 10 ACM Song and ACM Single of the Year awards (as either an artist or an artist and songwriter), the ACM Milestone Award, and the first-ever ACM Spirit Award. A multi-faceted entertainer, Lambert’s career boasts an impressive discography; her latest album, Palomino, becoming the eighth solo album of her career (seven of which went No. 1), along with 10 No. 1 hit radio singles, three albums with her trio, The Pistol Annies, and her 2021 ACM and GRAMMY-nominated project The Marfa Tapes, a raw and intimate recording with collaborators Jack Ingram and Jon Randall. With more than 70 prestigious awards to her name, the Lindale, TX native has remained an unstoppable force since her 2006 breakthrough win for ACM Top New Female Vocalist. Taking on both a co-headlining tour with Little Big Town, “The Bandwagon Tour,” and a Las Vegas Residency, “Velvet Rodeo,” in 2022 – Lambert continues to forge her own path in Country Music. She remains true to her Texas roots with her Boot Barn-exclusive cowboy boot collection, Idyllwind, while advocating for the adoption of rescue pets through her MuttNation Foundation.
Previous recipients of the ACM Triple Crown Award include Jason Aldean, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Mickey Gilley, Merle Haggard, Barbara Mandrell, and Carrie Underwood.
ACM ICON AWARD – Connie Bradley has been chosen to receive the ACM Icon Award, honoring the contributions of Cliffie Stone, who was known for his producing work along with his Country Music career. 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.
Connie Bradley served more than three decades at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), championing songwriters. A true trailblazer, Bradley began her career with ASCAP as the company’s first female membership representative, eventually rising to Senior Vice President and head of the Nashville office. Her nurturing, warm spirit quickly dubbed her a “songwriter’s best friend.” Over the span of her career, Bradley’s leadership contributed to ASCAP signing artists including Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Amy Grant, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, George Strait, and Trisha Yearwood, among others. Bradley’s creativity, vision, hard work, and dedication to the genre undoubtedly contributed to Country Music’s global success. Today, ASCAP remembers her timeless contributions with the Nashville office’s board room named in her honor.
Past recipients of the ACM Icon Award include Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Alan Jackson, George Jones, The Judds, Loretta Lynn, Martina McBride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Conway Twitty, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., and Dwight Yoakam, among others.
ACM LIFTING LIVES AWARD – Paul Barnabee and Dwight Wiles have each been chosen to receive the Lifting Lives Award, honoring the contributions of Gary Haber, known as a business manager and past president of ACM Lifting Lives. This award is 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. It is voted on by the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors.
ACM Lifting Lives Executive Director Lyndsay Cruz congratulates this year’s recipients and says, “The monumental industry support ACM Lifting Lives was able to offer the past two years with our COVID-19 Response Fund was due, in no small part, to the passion and vision of this year’s ACM Lifting Lives Award honorees, Paul Barnabee and Dwight Wiles. Beyond that, Paul and Dwight’s continuous dedication and contributions to ACM Lifting Lives throughout the years have helped shape the organization into what it is today, allowing us to provide meaningful support to the Country Music community when they need it most, time and time again. We look forward to celebrating their lasting impact on ACM Lifting Lives at Honors this August!”
Paul Barnabee has been an avid supporter of ACM Lifting Lives throughout his career. Having served two consecutive years as the Chair of the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors, Paul’s passion and investment played an instrumental role in jumpstarting the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund in 2020, bringing financial security to many in the Country Music community during their time of need. A senior staffer tapped to lead Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc.’s (FBMM) Los Angeles office, Barnabee has 30 years of diverse industry experience in many divisions including Polygram Records, Sony Music, and FBMM. In addition to serving as Chair on the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors (2020-2022), Barnabee served as Chairman of the board for the Academy of Country Music (2015-2016) and was a member of the board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee for five years.
With over a decade of service to ACM Lifting Lives, Dwight Wiles’ tenure on the organization’s Board dates back to before its 2008 rebranding, when it was still named the ACM Charitable Foundation. During this time, Wiles played an integral role in shaping the organization’s charitable efforts, building many of the core tenets of ACM Lifting Lives that remain today, including Party for a Cause, the Grant Cycle, and Music Camp. Having served the longest tenure as Treasurer on the Board of Directors, Wiles’ financial leadership enabled ACM Lifting Lives to give generously to the Country Music community throughout the years. As a Certified Public Accountant who helped build thriving business management firm Wiles + Taylor & Co., Wiles’ experience in the music industry spans three decades, encompassing personal management for several artist clients, business management, and financial consulting. In addition to his service on the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors, Wiles is a former board member of Nashville’s WPLN and Leadership Music, and a current member of ACM, CMA, NARAS, TSCPA and AICPA. He is also co-owner of Do Write Music, a publishing administration company.
Past recipients of the ACM Lifting Lives Award include Ross Copperman, Gayle Holcomb, Lady A, Dolly Parton, Darius Rucker, and Carrie Underwood.
ACM MILESTONE AWARD – Morgan Wallen has been chosen as the recipient of the ACM Milestone Award, honoring the contributions of Gene Weed, who directed and produced the ACM Awards for more than 30 years. This award is 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.
Morgan Wallen’s critically-acclaimed Dangerous: The Double Album launched the Country Music singer’s career to new heights in 2021. Landing at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart for 10 weeks following its release, Dangerous: The Double Album continues to make history. The album remains at the top of the charts, recognized as the Country album with the most weeks (60) in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 all-genre chart, and the most weeks (59) at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, to date. It also won ACM Album of the Year at the 57th ACM Awards in March 2022. With more than 4.1 million units sold, the singer’s rapid rise and unparalleled success earned him Country Male Artist of the Year at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards. Wallen’s 55-show “THE DANGEROUS TOUR” has netted over 800,000 tickets sold in 2022 so far, with $3 from every ticket benefiting his More Than My Hometown Foundation. Wallen’s first solo release of 2022, the emotional ballad “Don’t Think Jesus,” earned a Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 debut and landed atop Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, making Wallen the first artist to score three No. 1 debuts on the chart (based on airplay, streaming and sales) since its inception.
Past recipients of the ACM Milestone Award include Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, George Burns, Kenny Chesney, Luke Combs, Merle Haggard, Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert, Loretta Lynn, Little Big Town, Willie Nelson, Jennifer Nettles, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood.
ACM SERVICE AWARD – Duane Clark has been chosen as the recipient of the ACM Service Award, honoring the contributions of songwriter Mae Boren Axton and her service to the Academy. 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.
An award-winning business manager and trusted adviser, Duane Clark has been a co-owner of Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc. (FBMM) for over a decade. As President and Chief Operations Officer at FBMM, Clark has provided counseling and strategic support to his roster of clients, including top recording and touring artists, ensuring their financial management and security for years to come. His long history of dedicated service to the Country Music industry is evident through his 13-year tenure on the Academy of Country Music Board of Directors, beginning in 2009. From 2011-2016, Clark served as Treasurer of the Academy’s Board, playing an instrumental role in making the record-setting 50th ACM Awards show at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX a monumental success. Clark served as Chairman of the organization from 2018-2019 and continues to support the Academy today as Treasurer of the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors. In addition to his service to the Academy, Clark acts as a financial advisor to Country Radio Broadcasters, is a member of the Recording Academy, and is a charter member and alumnus of SOLID.
Previous recipients of the ACM Service Award include Barry Adelman, RAC Clark, Bob Kingsley, Reba McEntire, Gayle Holcomb, Keith Urban, and Gene Weed, among others.
ACM SPIRIT AWARD – Chris Stapleton has been chosen for the ACM Spirit Award, honoring the contributions of Merle Haggard, who received 20 ACM Awards in his career, including the Triple Crown Award. This award is presented to a singer-songwriter who is continuing the legacy of Country Music legend Merle Haggard by following his/her own path, crafting great songs, and epitomizing Haggard’s spirit through genuine performances and great storytelling.
Chris Stapleton’s commanding presence and refreshing authenticity has made him one of the most respected and beloved musicians of Country Music today. The Kentucky native has maintained the traditional, outlaw edge of the genre with riveting singles including “Tennessee Whiskey,” “Nobody to Blame,” and “Starting Over,” while appealing to wider audiences with innovative crossover collaborations including features on Taylor Swift’s “I Bet You Think About Me,” Adele’s “Easy On Me,” and more. An 8-time GRAMMY and 13-time ACM Award-winner, Stapleton’s monumental career has been lauded across every major music awards stage. Most recently, Stapleton won ACM Male Artist of the Year for the third time at the 57th ACM Awards. His highly acclaimed 2020 album, Starting Over, also won Stapleton three GRAMMYs at the 67th Annual GRAMMYs (Best Country Album, Best Country Solo Performance, and Best Country Song), as well as Album of the Year at the 56th ACM Awards as both an artist and producer. When he’s not performing on stage, Stapleton and his wife Morgane remain true to their roots, supporting local communities with their Outlaw State of Kind Fund.
Previous recipients of the ACM Spirit Award include Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Toby Keith, and Miranda Lambert.
ACM POET’S AWARD – Sonny Throckmorton and Shania Twain have each been chosen as recipients of the ACM Poet’s Award. This award is presented to a Country Music songwriter for outstanding and longstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their career, with special consideration given to a song or songs’ impact on the culture of Country Music.
Sonny Throckmorton’s legendary songwriting career began in the late 1970s when he had 150 songs cut within a nine-month span. Between 1976 and 1980, a Throckmorton-penned song appeared on the charts almost every single week. Throughout his storied career, Throckmorton had more than 1,000 songs recorded by an astounding list of artists, including Ray Charles, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, The Judds, George Strait, Tanya Tucker, and more. Among his cuts, Throckmorton notched No. 1 singles with Johnny Duncan, The Oak Ridge Boys, and T.G. Sheppard. He also co-wrote classics such as Merle Haggard’s “The Way I Am,” Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Middle Age Crazy,” George Strait’s “The Cowboy Rides Away,” and The Judds’ 1984 ACM Song of the Year, “Why Not Me.” Throckmorton has received countless accolades for his contributions to the Country Music genre, including Songwriter of the Year recognition from organizations such as Cashbox Magazine (1978), Nashville Songwriters Association International (1978-1979), Broadcast Music, Inc (1980), and the DJs of America (1980). In 1985, Throckmorton was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
International superstar Shania Twain has established her career as one of Country Music’s most versatile and invigorating songwriters, with instantly-recognizable hits and an undeniable crossover appeal that has earned her three ACM Awards and five GRAMMYs. The release of her album The Woman in Me in 1995, featuring her breakthrough hit single “Any Man of Mine,” was awarded ACM Album of the Year at the 31st ACM Awards, the same year Twain took home the title of ACM Top New Female Vocalist. Twain has released five total albums, becoming the first artist in history to release three consecutive diamond-certified albums. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, Twain remains the top-selling female Country Pop artist of all time. Her incredible creative achievements led her to win ACM Entertainer of the Year in 1999. Twain’s first album in 15 years, NOW, was released in September 2017 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, making it the first female Country release in over three years to top the all-genre chart. Twain is currently performing at her second residency in Las Vegas, titled “Let’s Go!” at the Zappos Theater in Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
Previous recipients of the ACM Poet’s Award include Bill Anderson, Rodney Crowell, Dean Dillon, Kye Fleming, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, Toby Keith, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Buck Owens, Eddie Rabbitt, Fred Rose, Don Schlitz, Billy Joe Shaver, Shel Silverstein, Cindy Walker, and Hank Williams, among others.
ACM FILM AWARD – Yellowstone has been chosen to receive the ACM Film Award, honoring the contributions of Tex Ritter, who was known for both his acting career and Country Music career. This award recognizes an outstanding television movie, series, or feature film released during the preceding calendar year which prominently features Country Music.
Yellowstone tells the compelling story of the Dutton family as they navigate treacherous conflict to maintain control of their beloved family-owned Montana ranch – the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the United States – amid tensions caused by political battles, shifting alliances, an expanding town, and a bordering Indian reservation. The SAG and PGA-nominated series is co-created by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, along with John Linson. Andrea von Foerster serves as music supervisor, while Oscar-winning actor and seasoned musician, Kevin Costner, stars as Dutton family patriarch, John Dutton. The dramatic scenes and compelling music heard on Yellowstone have captivated audiences, introducing viewers to numerous Country and Americana artists beyond the mainstream. Artists such as Zach Bryan, Hayes Carll, Turnpike Troubadours, Whiskey Myers, and ACM Award winner Lainey Wilson have all had their music featured in the show. In addition to Kevin Costner, cast members Ryan Bingham and Luke Grimes’ musical pursuits have cast a further spotlight on the Country Music genre. The tremendous success of Yellowstone on Paramount Network has inspired multiple prequels: 1883 which stars Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Sam Elliott and made its debut in late 2021 on Paramount+; and the recently announced 1932, which is set to premiere in December 2022. The highly anticipated season five of Yellowstone will premiere in November 2022. Yellowstone is produced by 101 Studios and MTV Entertainment Studios for Paramount Network.
Past recipients of the ACM Film Award include A Star Is Born, Beer For My Horses, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Ken Burns’s Country Music, Country Strong, Crazy Heart, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, Nashville, O Brother, Where Art Thou, Sweet Dreams, and Walk the Line, among others.
ACM SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD – As previously announced, HARDY was awarded the 57th ACM Songwriter of the Year Award. This award is presented to an individual known predominately as a songwriter, selected by a professional panel of judges composed of songwriters, publishers, producers, and performing rights organization (PRO) representatives. The Panel submits five nominees, at which time ACM members in the Artist/Musician/Producer/Engineer, Songwriter, Music Publisher/PRO and Record Company categories vote for the winner. This is HARDY’s first ACM Songwriter of the Year Award.
HARDY has emerged as one of Country Music’s most distinctive and creative talents, gaining career momentum through major cuts by Florida Georgia Line, Chris Lane, Blake Shelton, and Cole Swindell. His collaborative spirit most recently carried him to No. 1 as a songwriter and featured artist on Dierks Bentley’s “Beers on Me.” HARDY placed multiple songs, including “More Than My Hometown” and “Sand in My Boots,” on Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album, which won ACM Album of the Year in 2022. He has co-penned 11 No. 1 singles since 2018, including his own chart-topping, double platinum-certified single “ONE BEER” featuring Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson.
Past recipients of the ACM Songwriter of the Year Award include Ross Copperman, Dallas Davidson, Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, and Roger Miller.
To search the Academy’s database and view the full list of previous recipients for each category, visit here.
For more information on the ACM Awards and all ACM events, visit www.ACMcountry.com. You can like Academy of Country Music on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @ACMawards and Instagram @ACMAwards for more immediate updates.