Country artists don’t just take home the trophies when their songs go No. 1 or when the fans vote them as the best of the year—they also receive accolades from the Academy of Country Music for their contributions to the platform as a team player.
This year’s recipients for the ACM Special Awards include a list of familiar faces that country music lovers know very well. Some of the honored names include Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, Sam Hunt, Dierks Bentley and Rhett Akins for their respective work they’ve done over the past year in their careers.
Jackson earned the title of coveted ACM Cliffie Stone Icon Award for expanded the realm of country out beyond its original constraints due to years of dedication in the genre. The singer joins the ranks of previous winners such as Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and many more esteemed colleagues.
Rucker received the name of the Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award, thanks to his partnership with the power of music helping people in all aspects of their lives. With his annual Darius & Friends show raising thousands of dollars for those in need, Rucker selflessly devotes himself to charity work and giving back in whichever ways he can.
After blowing up both country and Top 40 charts all last summer with “Body Like a Back Road,” Hunt got the Gene Weed Milestone Award. This title usually comes with the territory that the artist has done something so extraordinary in the genre and boosted their career even further.
It will be a great moment for Bentley to accept the Merle Haggard Spirit Award for his devotion to continuing on Haggard’s tradition of great storytelling and capturing a moment through song. An important task for Bentley, the singer gratefully lives out the legacy of so many before him including Haggard.
Akins already found out about his prize by winning the ACM Songwriter of the Year at the 53rd Annual ACM Awards, but he will join the rest of the crew when they collect their titles.
Those earning awards will be celebrated during the 12th Annual ACM Honors held at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Wednesday, August 22.