Luke Combs, Dan + Shay celebrated by Friends at ACM Honors | Leisure information

by KRISTIN M. HALL, AP Entertainment Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Dan + Shay, Luke Combs, Rascal Flatts, and more country artists were celebrated alongside celebrity songwriters, producers, and industry leaders at the Academy of Country Music Honors Awards Show.

In front of a limited crowd in the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, artists paid tribute to other writers, bands, and even a documentary filmmaker for their work in the country music genre.

“Without the songwriters in this town, we wouldn’t have any of it. We have no shows, no record sales, ”said Dan Smyers of Grammy-winning duo Dan + Shay, which won the Jim Reeves International Award.

Combs’ rise to fame in recent years has been unprecedented. He is the first artist to land at number 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart with his first 11 singles. Country singer Ashley McBryde tore through a rowdy version of his song “She Got the Best of Me” before presenting him with the Gene Weed Milestone Award.

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“There’s a lot more country music in this boy, and I can’t wait for you to hear it,” said Combs as he lifted the award.

Carly Pearce, Alan Jackson and Lee Ann Womack sang country icon Loretta Lynn, who won the Poets Award. Lynn, speaking on an audio message but not showing up, called it the greatest award she could get.

PBS filmmaker Ken Burns accepted the Tex Ritter Film Award for his multi-part series “Country Music” which aired in 2019.

“We were proud to bring this story of this unique American music to tens of millions of viewers,” Burns said in a video statement. “And we were particularly pleased that our film reached so many people who used to think they didn’t like country music but quickly became fans.”

The country group Rascal Flatts received the Cliffie Stone Icon Award. The trio announced their resignation in 2020 after two decades together.

“20 years fly by. It’s fleeting,” said Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts. “We have been blessed.”

However, Jay DeMarcus joked that although the band had retired, they were still looking for work. “I’m unemployed. If you guys need a bass player, Lady A, I have a special skill set,” DeMarcus said, laughing from the crowd.

Keith Urban performed in honor of hit producer and songwriter Ross Copperman, who received the Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award with Lady A. Brittney Spencer. Toby Keith also received a Poet’s Award and Trace Adkins played Keith’s hit “Love Me If You Can”.

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