Tuesday, March 29, 2011
– Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks and Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers will receive special honors from the Academy of Country Music.
Swift will be given the Jim Reeves International Award for her contributions to the acceptance of country throughout the world. McEntire will receive the Career Achievement Award, an honor given to those who advance the popularity of country during the past calendar year.
Brooks and the Gatlins will receive the 2011 Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. "Steve, Rudy and I are so very grateful to the Academy for this incredible honor. The Academy was a very important part of our career from the far beginning, so it seems that 'the circle is unbroken," said Larry Gatlin. "P.S., congrats to Garth. We think he has a great future 'in the business.'"
The Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award honors individuals who are pioneers in the country music genre. Past recipients include Alabama, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, Mel Tillis, Conway Twitty, Porter Wagoner, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams, Sr. and Hank Williams Jr.
The Gatlin Brothers and Brooks will be presented with their awards on a to be announced date in Nashville later this year.
Tom T. Hall and the late Hank Cochran will receive the Poet's Award for their work as songwriters. Artist manager John Dorris will take home the Mae Boren Axton Award for his years of service to the ACM. "Country Strong," the film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw, did not win awards with critics, but it will receive the Tex Ritter Award, given to films, which prominently feature country.
Other winners were:
Producer of the year: Paul Worley
Audio engineer of the year: Chuck Ainlay
Bass player of the year: Glenn Worf
Percussionist/drummer of the year: Eddie Bayers
Guitarist of the year: Tom Bukovac
Fiddle player of the year: Aubrey Haynie
Piano/keyboard player of the year: Gordon Mote
Specialty instrument player of the year: Bryan Sutton
Steel guitar player of the year: Dan Dugmore
In addition, the Ryman Auditorium was named venue of the year and the Ryman's general manager Sally Williams was named promoter of the year.
The awards show is this coming Sunday in Las Vegas.