The Academy of Country Music revealed Tuesday (June 15) this year’s batch of honorees for the 14th annual ACM Honors ceremony. The event, slated for August 25 inside the Ryman Auditorium, will honor a slew of country hitmakers and songwriters, including Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, and Hillary Lindsey—who receives the ACM Songwriter of the Year honor for the second year running.
Combs, whose What You See Is What You Get is one of only a few double-platinum records of 2021, will receive the Gene Weed Milestone Award. Past recipients include Kelsea Ballerini, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Sam Hunt, and Miranda Lambert, among a slew of others.
Meanwhile, Dan + Shay will be honored with the Jim Reeves International Award for their “contributions to the acceptance of Country Music throughout the world,” per the official press release. Toby Keith, a 20-time ACM Award winner, is this year’s Merle Haggard Spirit Award recipient, and Loretta Lynn, Gretchen Peters (Martina McBride’s “Independence Day”) and Curly Putman (posthumously, known for penning such hits as Dolly Parton’s “Dumb Blonde,” Porter Wagoner’s “Green Green Grass of Home,” and George Jones’ classic hit “He Stopped Loving Her Today”) have been selected for the Poet’s Award for their long-standing legacy in songwriting and helping shape the modern format.
Ken Burn’s landmark “Country Music” documentary has been selected for the Tex Ritter Film Award. The Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award, whose previous honorees include Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood, goes to Lady A and songwriter Ross Copperman. Joe Galante — famously known for running RCA Nashville in the 1980s and forging careers for Alabama, Keith Whitley, and The Judds — and Rascal Flatts to receive the Cliffie Stone Icon Award.
The Academy also revealed the winners for the 2020 studio recording awards. Those are:
Bass Player of the Year: Tony Lucido
Drummer of the Year: Aaron Sterling
Guitar Player of the Year: J.T. Corenflos (Awarded Posthumously)
Piano/Keyboards Player of the Year: Dave Cohen
Specialty Instrument(s) Player of the Year: Ilya Toshinskiy
Steel Guitar Player of the Year (tie): Dan Dugmore & Mike Johnson
Audio Engineer of the Year: F. Reid Shippen
Producer of the Year: Jay Joyce