The 48th Annual ACM Awards won’t be handed out until April 7, but a few of country’s hottest stars have already been named winners in the off-camera categories. Jason Aldean has been selected to the Crystal Milestone Award in recognition of his sold-out stadium concerts this year. Notably, Jason will become the first country artist to headline a show at Boston’s Fenway Park later this year.
Blake Shelton is being honored with the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award in recognition of his “unprecedented, unique and outstanding achievement” as a coach on NBC’s The Voice. That position has catapulted Blake to household name status and led to his own NBC Christmas special last December.
The Jim Reeves International Award goes to Lady Antebellum this year for their contribution in taking country music to the world. Since their global hit “Need You Now” topped the charts around the world, Lady A has taken their live show to 11 countries on three different continents. Those international dates include three sold-out shows at the Sydney Opera House in Australia and a spot opening for Bruce Springsteen at London’s Hard Rock Calling festival in Hyde Park.
This year’s Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award goes to The Judds and the late Keith Whitley. The Judds won seven consecutive Vocal Duo trophies from the ACM Awards in the 1980s, and scored 14 #1 hits in less than a decade. Keith Whitley’s small but influential catalog includes the chart-toppers “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “I’m No Stranger to the Rain” and “When You Say Nothing at All.” He’s also regarded as one of the most respected vocalists of his era. Whitley passed away in 1989 at age 33.
Legendary songwriter Guy Clark and the late Hank Williams are being honored with the Poet’s Award, which honors songwriters who have made outstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions to country music.
These off-camera winners will be recognized at the 7th Annual ACM Honors taking place September 10 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
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