George Strait has been named artist of the decade by the Academy of Country Music, which will honor him with a TV special on CBS in 2009. The TV taping will take place in Las Vegas on April 6. Only four other acts have been honored as artist of the decade: Marty Robbins in 1969, Loretta Lynn in 1979, Alabama in 1988 and Garth Brooks in 1998. In related news, the ACM Awards will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 5 — about six weeks earlier than usual. Reba McEntire will return as the host of the ACM Awards. Tickets for both events will be available on Nov. 6.