Although the special awards, studio recording awards and songwriter of the year winners were announced Tuesday (March 29) in advance of Sunday’s ACM Awards show in Las Vegas, the awards will be presented this fall during the 10th annual ACM Honors ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
Campbell has been chosen to receive the Career Achievement Award, which honors artists who have advanced the popularity and acceptance of country music through their endeavors in the entertainment industry in multiple areas during the preceding calendar year.
Campbell, who is reportedly in the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease, documented his fight against the illness in the 2014 film, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me. A song featured in the documentary, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” was co-written by Campbell and won the 2015 Grammy for best country song and was also nominated for best original song at the 2015 Academy Awards.
Underwood will receive the ACM Lifting Lives Gary Haber Award, a new honor created to recognize a country music artist or industry professional who is committed to serving others, has a generosity of spirit and shows a dedication to helping those in need.
Urban is the recipient of the Mae Boren Axton Award, which is given to an outstanding individual recognizing years of dedication and service to the ACM.
Little Big Town will receive the ACM’s Crystal Milestone Award, which is given to an artist or industry leader to commemorate a specific, remarkable achievement. The quartet’s “Girl Crush” was the most-downloaded country song of 2015. It also topped Billboard’s hot country songs chart for 13 consecutive weeks, setting the longest run at No. 1 for a group since the Browns’ 10-week run in 1959 with “The Three Bells.”
The Poet’s Award, which honors songwriters for outstanding contributions throughout their career, will be awarded to Eddie Rabbitt and Jimmy Webb.
Rabbitt, who died in 1998 at age 56, wrote many of his own hits, including “I Love a Rainy Night” and “Drivin’ My Life Away” and also wrote Elvis Presley’s “Kentucky Rain” and Ronnie Milsap’s “Pure Love.”
Webb wrote numerous pop hits, including “Up, Up and Away” and “MacArthur Park,” but his country classics include Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.”
The Jim Reeves International Award will honor pioneering businessman Jeff Walker, who died last year at age 65. A native of Australia, Walker significantly impacted the international reach of country music, advocating on behalf of foreign-born artists as well as working to expose country artists overseas. He moved to Nashville in 1974 and established his marketing and promotions firm in 1980. The AristoMedia Group/Marco Music Group and grew to encompass divisions offering publicity, web development, radio promotion, video promotion and distribution services.
Additionally, the ACM named Ross Copperman its songwriter of the year. Copperman’s recent songwriting credits include Keith Urban’s “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” Jake Owen’s “Real Life,” Billy Currington’s “Don’t It,” A Thousand Horses’ “Smoke” and Brett Eldredge’s “Lose My Mind.”
The ACM also announced its Studio Recording Awards. The winners are:
Bass Player: Michael Rhodes
Drummer: Shannon Forrest
Guitar Player: Derek Wells
Piano/Keyboards Player: Jim ‘Moose’ Brown
Specialty Instrument Player: Danny Rader
Steel Guitar Player: Paul Franklin
Audio Engineer: Justin Niebank
Producer: Dave Cobb
As previously announced, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, a made-for-TV movie which premiered last year on NBC, has been selected for the Tex Ritter Award, which recognizes a movie released receiving significant exposure that featured or utilized country music during the preceding calendar year.