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NEAR TRUTHS: SECRETS AND BUYS
We'll miss those smoke-filled rooms. (5/10a)
JUST CALL HIM ACE
Some guys have all the luck. (5/10a)
SONY GETS TOP BMI HONOR
Big ups for the mogul previously known as Big Jon (5/10a)
RAY OF HOPE
Our resident redhead praises girl in red. (5/10a)
'IT'S THE REAL SCHOOL'
Alan Jackson brings back hard country. (5/10a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
Music City
ACM SPECIAL AWARDS ANNOUNCED
5/30/17

The winners of the 52nd ACM Awards' Special Awards were announced today. These recipients and other off-camera awards (including the to-be-announced Industry Awards and Studio Recording Awards) will be celebrated during the 11th annual ACM Honors—an event dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards, which will take place 8/23 at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium. The whole shebang will then be broadcast via CBS at a later date.

George Strait has earned the Cliffie Stone Icon Award—a trophy that is "presented to a country music artist, duo/group or industry leader who throughout their career has advanced the popularity of the genre through their contributions in multiple facets of the industry such as songwriting, recording, production, touring, film, television, literary works, philanthropic contributions and other goodwill efforts," according to the Academy.

Dolly Parton will be presented with the Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award, which is presented to a "country music artist, duo/group or industry professional who is devoted to improving lives through the power of music, has a generosity of spirit, and is committed to serving others, voted on by the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors."

Kelsea Ballerini gets the Gene Weed Milestone Award, which is said to applaud "a specific, unprecedented or outstanding achievement in the field of country music during the preceding calendar year."

The Mae Boren Axton Service Award will go to Bob Kingsley and Reba McEntire, who are being recognized for their years of dedication and service to the Academy of Country Music.

Eric Church will take home the Merle Haggard Spirit Award, which is saved for "a singer/songwriter who is continuing the legacy of country legend and 20-time ACM Award Winner Merle Haggard by following his/her own path, crafting great songs and epitomizing Merle’s spirit through genuine performances and great storytelling."

The Poet's Award—honoring Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and Shel Silverstein (awarded posthumously)—recognizes "outstanding and longstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout careers, with special consideration given to a song or songs’ impact on the culture of country music."

The Tex Ritter Film Award, which shines a light on "an outstanding television movie, series or feature film released during the preceding calendar year which prominently features country music," belongs to Nashville.

And last but certainly not least, previously announced winner Lori McKenna—the first female to win this category—is being honored as Songwriter of the Year, thanks to a panel of judges that's composed of songwriters, publishers, producers, and performing rights organization reps. McKenna's recent feats include Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind," Little Big Town smash "Girl Crush" and new single "Happy People."

At HITS, our recent feats include almost mastering the ability to chew gum and walk at the same time. We also got through Memorial Day Weekend without having to get a cheap firework medically removed from an uncomfortable part of the body. Where are our awards?