The Academy of Country Music has announced the first round of performers set for the 11th annual ACM Honors at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Aug. 23.
The awards ceremony and concert event will feature performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Brad Paisley, Thomas Rhett, Hillary Scott and George Strait.
The night will be taped for a two-hour television special, airing Sept. 15 on CBS, and tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster and the Ryman box office.
The honorees reflect the off-camera winners from the 52nd annual ACM Awards, and they will be recognized for their specific achievements during the show. The special award recipients include Ballerini, Strait, CMT’s Nashville, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Shel Silverstein, radio veteran Bob Kingsley and the ACM songwriter of the year award winner, Lori McKenna.
Eric Church and Willie Nelson will receive their respective honors, the Merle Haggard Spirit award and the Poet’s award, at a later date.
As previously reported, Nashville will receive the Tex Ritter Film award, which recognizes a television movie, series or feature film released during the preceding calendar year that prominently features country music. Now in its fifth season, the hour-long drama has been seen in 225 territories worldwide. The show has been credited as part of the recent tourism boom in the city of Nashville, which has seen an amazing increase in visitors over the past five years. The season five finale airs Thursday Aug. 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Strait will receive the new Cliffie Stone Icon award, which honors individuals whose careers have significantly contributed to the advancement of country music in popular culture. The honor was previously titled the Cliffie Stone Pioneer award, and past recipients include Alabama, Garth Brooks and the late Glen Campbell. Strait will return to Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena for his 2 Nights of Number 1s shows on Sept. 1-2.
The 2017 Poet’s award honorees are Keith, Nelson and the late Silverstein for their longstanding musical contributions throughout their respective careers.