Country music icon Loretta Lynn will join an elite circle of gifted and insightful performers when she is awarded the Johnny Cash Visionary Award on the live telecast of the 2005 CMT Music Awards on Monday, April 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The prestigious award, originally named the Video Visionary Award, was permanently renamed in honor of Cash last year. Previous winners of the award, given out annually on CMT’s live awards show, include Reba McEntire (2004), Johnny Cash (2003) and the Dixie Chicks (2002).
CMT’s Johnny Cash Visionary Award recognizes an artist’s extraordinary musical vision, innovative and groundbreaking music videos and pioneering initiatives in entertainment. For more than four decades, Lynn has fashioned a body of work as artistically and commercially successful — and as culturally significant — as any performer. Her music has confronted many of the major social issues of her time, and her life story is a rags-to-riches tale familiar to pop, rock and country fans alike.
From the poverty of the Kentucky hills to Nashville superstardom, Lynn has long been an advocate for ordinary women. Her distinctive vocal style and skill as a songwriter garnered her numerous accolades for hits such as “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “Don’t Come Home A’Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “The Pill” and her signature song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” In 1972, Lynn was presented her second best female vocalist award from the Country Music Association and became the first woman to win the CMA’s most prestigious award, entertainer of the year.
Lynn quickly became famous far beyond her country fan base. In 1973 she appeared on the cover of Newsweek, in 1976 her autobiography became a New York Times bestseller and in 1980 the book was made into the film Coal Miner’s Daughter starring Oscar winner Sissy Spacek. By 1982, Lynn could count 55 Top 10 hits and 27 No.1’s to her credit. Her latest critically acclaimed album, Van Lear Rose, produced by Jack White, has again reminded the world of her power as an established American icon. Comprising 13 self-penned songs, Van Lear Rose garnered Lynn’s highest career sales debut and earned two Grammy awards, her first since 1972.
In 2002, CMT awarded the first ever Video Visionary Award to the Dixie Chicks, known for their solid musical talent as well as their music video originality and creativity. Innovators on multiple fronts, the Dixie Chicks launched a whole new wave of popularity for the genre and broadened country music into new and untapped audiences. In 2003, CMT honored the incomparable Johnny Cash for his immeasurable achievements and musical vision. Vince Gill hosted the moving tribute and presented the award to Country Music Hall of Fame member June Carter Cash, accepting on behalf of her husband who was unable to attend. Cash’s masterfully powerful and artistic music video, “Hurt,” was a cornerstone in CMT’s tribute which featured Bono, Hank Williams Jr. and Rosanne Cash. In 2004, Reba McEntire was the recipient of the permanently renamed award in honor of Cash. Presented by Brooks & Dunn, McEntire was honored with a poignant tribute featuring heartfelt sentiments from some of her friends and colleagues including Lily Tomlin, Martina McBride, Gill, Kelly Clarkson, Melissa Peterman (Reba) and Christopher Rich (Reba).
The 2005 CMT Music Awards will be hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy. Scheduled performances include Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, McEntire, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson and Big & Rich.