Loretta Lynn, Luke Bryan Are Early 2015 ACM Awards Winners
The Coal Miner’s Daughter has her lucky 13th career ACM trophy. Loretta Lynn has been honored with the Crystal Milestone Award for the 2015 ACMs, as revealed in a list of off-camera winners released today. The recognition is given in honor of her illustrious, 50-year career in which she has blazed trails for women in country music. Among her 13 ACM awards is the 1975 Entertainer of the Year, which made her the first female ever to win the Academy’s top honor. Past recipients of the Crystal Milestone Award include Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Merle Haggard and Taylor Swift.
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Luke Bryan is the 2015 Gene Weed Special Achievement Award winner, which according to the ACM acknowledges “unprecedented, unique and outstanding individual achievement in country music.” In addition to performing for 1.7 million fans last year (a personal record), the Georgia native had six straight Number One hits from his Crash My Party album. The 2012 ACM Entertainer of the Year, Bryan follows in the Special Achievement footsteps of past winners Willie Nelson, Blake Shelton, George Strait and Carrie Underwood, among others.
Eric Church is the 2015 ACM Award winner of the Jim Reeves International Award, which is presented to an artist successful in promoting country music all over the world. His Outsiders World Tour hit 12 major European markets last year.
Church’s “Give Me Back My Hometown” and “Talladega” co-writer, Luke Laird is the 2015 ACM Songwriter of the Year. Laird has also scored recent chart success with Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids,” Frankie Ballard’s “Sunshine and Whiskey” and Lady Antebellum’s “Downtown,” among a laundry list of other huge hits. His last ACM victory was in 2013 for Album of the Year, sharing the honors with Kacey Musgraves for producing her Same Trailer Different Park LP, on which he also penned several tracks.
Country supergroup Alabama have been deemed the 2015 ACM Career Achievement Award winners, marking their advancement of country music’s popularity through other endeavors within the entertainment industry. The five-time ACM Entertainer of the Year honorees are recognized for their major tours, laundry list of hits, collaborations with other artists and tireless work supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, among other achievements.
Barry Adelman, EVP of Television for Dick Clark Productions, and lauded songwriter Tim DuBois are winners of the Mae Boren Axton Award, which is given in recognition of service to the Academy of Country Music. Bob McDill and the late Felice and Boudleaux Bryant have been voted winners of the ACM’s Poet’s Award, which honors songwriters for crafting outstanding country music. McDill is the brains behind hits such as Waylon Jennings’ “Amanda” and Alan Jackson’s “Gone Country,” while the Bryants wrote classics including Roy Orbison’s “Love Hurts” and the Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love.” And Jay Joyce, the man behind the board of recent albums by Eric Church and Little Big Town, is the ACM’s Producer of the Year. (See a full list of 2013 ACM Awards off-camera winners here, including various musician and industry honors.)
The 50th annual ACM Awards, co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, will broadcast live from AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, on April 19th at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS. Shelton’s better half, Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley lead the pack of nominees for the televised awards. The off-camera special awards honorees will be celebrated during the 9th annual ACM Honors event on September 1st in Nashville.