Hank Williams Jr. has been named recipient of CMT’s Johnny Cash Visionary Award. To be presented April 10 during the 2006 CMT Music Awards show, the award recognizes his extraordinary musical vision, innovative and groundbreaking music videos and pioneering initiatives in entertainment.
Williams joins an elite circle of performers to have received the award, including Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Johnny Cash and the Dixie Chicks.
Williams’ raw creativity and passion have shaped the history of country music for more than five decades. He has been named entertainer of the year five times — twice by the Country Music Association and three times by the Academy of Country Music. Set to release his 70th album this year, Williams has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, including three multi-platinum and eight platinum titles. He also holds the distinction of being the first country artist to ever win an Emmy, a feat he repeated in 1990 through 1993 for his Monday Night Football anthem, “Are You Ready for Some Football?”
A true visionary, Williams paired up with friend Waylon Jennings in 1983, just shortly after the launch of CMT, for “The Conversation,” his first music video. The following year, he called on some more famous friends to create the video for his 1984 signature hit, “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” which featured a who’s who of country music, including George Jones, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Williams went on to conceptualize dozens of music videos, including “There’s a Tear in My Beer,” the 1989 duet with his late father, which used cutting-edge production techniques to appear as if the two were actually performing together in the video.
CMT presented its first-ever Visionary Award to the Dixie Chicks in 2002. CMT honored the incomparable Johnny Cash in 2003 for his immeasurable achievements and musical vision. Vince Gill hosted the moving tribute and presented the award to June Carter Cash, who accepted on behalf of her husband who was unable to attend. In 2004, Reba McEntire was the recipient of the award that was permanently renamed award in honor of Cash. Loretta Lynn was honored in 2005.
Hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, the 2006 CMT Music Awards honors country music’s elite for the year’s most outstanding videos and is the genre’s only fan-voted awards show. Scheduled performers include Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Trace Adkins, Gretchen Wilson, Brooks & Dunn and Sugarland. The fifth annual awards show premieres live from The Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville on April 10 at 8 p.m ET.