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Kris Kristofferson to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at CMAs

Dierks Bentley, Sheryl Crown, Chris Janson and John Osborne will team up for a tribute performance.

Written by Chris Parton
Kris Kristofferson to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at CMAs
Kris Kristofferson; Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Mark

Country Music Hall of Famer and songwriting icon Kris Kristofferson is set to receive one of the Country Music Association’s highest honors. He’ll be granted the 2019 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s CMA Awards.

Presented to an “iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in country music,” the award is meant to recognize someone who has become much more than an entertainer. Achieving monumental stature through performances, record sales and the like are part of the equation, but so are humanitarian efforts, philanthropy and the degree of positive impact the honoree has had on the genre.

As an internationally renowned singer, songwriter and actor who’s helped expose country’s artistic merit in the mainstream, Kristofferson fits that bill to a “T,” and he’ll be honored with a special CMA Awards tribute performance. Dierks Bentley, Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson and Brothers Osborne’s John Osborne will team up to perform Kristofferson’s classic “Me and Bobby McGee” (made famous by Janis Joplin).

“Kris is a living legend whose impact on our genre has been monumental,” says CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern. “He is the definition of an icon and someone our community holds with such high regard. I’m thrilled our Board selected Kris this year for one of CMA’s highest accolades. Though he won’t be joining us at the CMA Awards, I hope our tribute performance brings a big smile to his face.”

Previous recipients of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award include Willie Nelson (2012), Kenny Rogers (2013), Johnny Cash (2015) and Dolly Parton (2016). The 53rd Annual CMA Awards air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Wednesday, November 13 at 8/7c on ABC.