Thursday, December 6, 2018
– The Country Music Association will honor the Messina Touring Group's CEO Louis Messina with this year's CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement Award.
Messina received the news personally from George Strait, who made a surprise phone call last Friday morning. Final voting for the CMA Touring Awards, which highlight vital behind-the-scenes members of the touring industry, closes Dec. 13.
The CMA Touring Awards will take place Jan. 28 in Nashville with Jerrod Niemann again hosting.
"I'm incredibly humbled by this honor from CMA and its membership," said Messina. "Having George Strait call and tell me the news was so powerful, so meaningful, so special and a moment I will always cherish. I'm especially proud of the team we've built and the clients we work for, and this distinction caps off an incredible year for us all. I remain thankful to so many people. You have now rendered me speechless."
"The touring industry is a vibrant part of our business, and Louis is very deserving of this recognition," said Brandi Simms, CMA Senior Director of Awards & Industry Relations. "His vision and passion for the artists and the touring community is an inspiration to those fortunate enough to have worked with him. He is a world-class promoter, and it's no surprise to me that he was chosen to receive the honor of CMA's Touring Lifetime Achievement Award."
Messina promotes the tours of Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (Soul2Soul), Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, The Lumineers and Strait. Over his 50-year career, he has promoted a variety of acts including the Dixie Chicks, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and Nickelback.
Messina began booking small shows as a high school student. Building a solid reputation, he moved onto club and theatre acts in and around New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. In 1975 Messina moved to Houston and (with longtime friend and mentor, Allen Becker) co-founded PACE Concerts. Under his direction, PACE Concerts gained regional and national acclaim.
As the company evolved from PACE Concerts to SFX then to Clear Channel Entertainment, Messina established himself as one of the country's preeminent promoters. Messina conceived and created the George Strait Country Music Festival, Ozzfest (along with Sharon Osborne), Texxas Jam, Van Halen's Monsters of Rock and the Fleetwood Mac reunion tours. Since establishing The Messina Group, Messina has been the exclusive concert promoter for Chesney, Strait and Swift.
Messina is known for special events and record-setting stadium concerts such as the Jimmy Buffett-George Strait-Alan Jackson triple headliner at Texas Stadium and the opening event at Cowboys Stadium featuring Strait. Strait's final sellout show at AT&T Stadium, The Cowboy Rides Away, set record numbers with over 104,000 tickets sold in 2014. Swift's 1989 World Tour saw five sold-out shows at Staples Center, setting a record for the artist with the most sold-out shows at the venue (16) and all of them sold out instantly. Chesney has played 135 stadiums during his career.
The CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement Award is for an individual who has accomplished the highest level in the country music field of touring.