The Academy of Country Music announced today the winners of awards that will not be televised during the 50TH ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, due to time constraints. The 50th ACM Awards will be telecast LIVE from AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, April 19th at 8:00PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. Special Awards honorees will be feted during the 9th Annual ACM Honors event on September 1, 2015 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.
The Academy of Country Music Special Awards are voted on by the ACM Board of Directors and specific categories are awarded during years where the Board of Directors feels there are clear and deserving candidates. The Studio Recording Awards (formerly known as the Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist (MBI) Awards) ballot is voted on by professional members of the Academy who are classified in the Artist-Entertainer/Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist category and the Producer-Engineer-Studio Manager sub-category (contained within the Affiliated category). The Songwriter of the Year ballot is voted on by professional members of the Academy in the following categories: Artist-Entertainer/Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist, Composer, Music Publisher/PRO, Record Company, and the Producer-Engineer-Studio Manager sub-category (contained within the Affiliated category). Industry Awards are voted on by all professional members of the Academy and for the first time ever this year’s ballot included the ACM Festival of the Year category. The Academy wanted to recognize the growing festival industry, a platform that has helped raise awareness and appreciation for country music.
Career Achievement Award – Alabama has 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.
Alabama received the ACM Artist of the Decade award for the 1980s after winning the Entertainer of the Year award for five consecutive years. Combining their rock influences with Southern roots, the ensemble charted 51 Top 10 hits between 1980 and 1999, with 32 reaching No. 1. They also earned six consecutive ACM awards in the Vocal Group category. Alabama joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2011, original band members Randy Owen, Jeff Cook and Teddy Gentry brought their mountain music back to country radio by singing on “Old Alabama,” Brad Paisley’s salute to them. In 2013, the band celebrated 40 years in country music with the “Back to the Bowery” Tour and the tribute album Alabama & Friends, which featured Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line and many others. Their 2013-2014 run culminated in the September 2014 releases of the Angels Among Us: Hymns and Gospel Favorites album and the Alabama & Friends At The Ryman live CD/DVD. Also in 2014, Alabama frontman Randy Owen celebrated the 25th anniversary of his call to country radio to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. To date, the “Country Cares for St. Jude Kids” initiative has raised more than $500 million for the hospital.
Past recipients of the Career Achievement Award include John Anderson, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Ronnie Milsap, Johnny Paycheck, Carl Perkins, Reba, and Kenny Rogers.
Crystal Milestone Award – Loretta Lynn has been chosen to receive the Crystal Milestone Award, which is given to an artist or industry leader to commemorate a specific, remarkable achievement.
Loretta Lynn remains one of country music’s most beloved and admired artists. Celebrated for her keen songwriting and down-home personality, she was named the ACM Artist of the Decade for the 1970s, an honor bestowed after she claimed four Female Vocalist awards, four Vocal Group awards (with Conway Twitty) and ultimately 1975 Entertainer of the Year – the first woman ever to earn that distinction. Lynn joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1962 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988. The film version of her life, Coal Miner’s Daughter, is an Oscar-winning classic. Lynn has captivated a younger generation as well, collaborating with rocker Jack White on the Grammy-winning Van Lear Rose album and championing today’s female vocalists like Miranda Lambert. In 2014, Loretta celebrated her 50th anniversary in country music. New music is expected in 2015.