Loretta Lynn, Dan + Shay and More Earn 2021 ACM Honors
Loretta Lynn, Dan + Shay and more country stars and industry players will receive ACM Honors in 2021. The Academy of Country Music announced the recipients of this year's special awards, as well as its plans for the 2021 ACM Honors event, on Tuesday (June 15).
Lynn, as well as songwriters Gretchen Peters and the late Curly Putman, are receiving the ACM Poet's Award, which honors songwriters "for outstanding and longstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their career, with special consideration given to a song or songs’ impact on the culture of country music," per the ACM Dan + Shay, meanwhile, are the winners of the ACM Jim Reeves International Award, which honors "outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world."
Lynn, Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney are far from the only 2021 ACM Honors recipients, though. Among the others are Rascal Flatts and former Sony Music Nashville executive Joe Galante, both of whom will receive the ACM Cliffie Stone Icon Award for "advanc[ing] the popularity of the genre through their contributions in multiple facets of the industry."
Also receiving 2021 ACM Honors are Lady A and songwriter and producer Ross Copperman: They're winners of the ACM Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award, in recognition of their "devot[ion] to improving lives through the power of music ... generosity of spirit ... and [commitment to serving others." The ACM Gene Weed Milestone Award, meanwhile, will go to Luke Combs, for earning a double-platinum album in 2021 and being the only country artist to take his first 10 career singles to No. 1 (a record that now stretches to his first 11 career singles with "Forever After All").
Toby Keith, too, will be a 2021 ACM Honors honoree: He'll receive the ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award, a trophy "presented to 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." It's an especially sweet win for Keith, as he and Haggard were good friends.
Lastly, the ACM Mae Boren Axton Service Award will go to to RAC Clark, who has produced the ACM Awards since 1999, and the Tex Ritter Film Award will recognize Ken Burns' Country Music eight-part docuseries, released in 2019.
During the 2021 ACM Honors, 2020 and 2021 ACM Songwriter of the Year Hillary Lindsey, as well as the 2020 ACM Awards studio recording and industry award winners and the 2021 ACM Awards studio recording award winners, will all be recognized as well. Industry awards, which focus on the live aspect of country music, are not being handed out in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 ACM Honors are set for Aug. 25 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. When announcing the honorees, the ACM also shared that its Party for a Cause — which benefits Lifting Lives, the ACM's charitable arm, and usually precedes the ACM Awards — will take place ahead of the event, with details to be announced. It will be the first time the ACM Party for a Cause is happening in Nashville; the event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Fans interested in attending the 2021 ACM Honors will have access to tickets beginning on Friday (June 18), though ACM A-List email subscribers and ACM Professional Members will have pre-sale access as of Thursday (June 17). Visit ACMCountry.com for more information.