Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt + More Will Receive 2018 ACM Honors
Sam Hunt, Dierks Bentley and more country stars will be honored during the 2018 ACM Honors ceremony in August. The annual event, scheduled for late August, recognizes the ACM's special honorees and off-camera ACM Awards category winners for the year.
Bentley is receiving the 2018 ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award, while Hunt will be lauded with the ACM Gene Weed Milestone Award. The Merle Haggard Spirit Award recognizes those who continue Haggard's legacy "by following his/her own path, crafting great songs and epitomizing Merle’s spirit through genuine performances and great storytelling." Bentley is preparing to release a new studio album, The Mountain, in June; he went to Telluride, Colo., to write and record the project.
Hunt is receiving the Milestone Award, meanwhile, in recognition of his smash hit "Body Like a Back Road," which broke and re-set country music's one-week streaming record 14 times in 2017 and spent a record-setting 34 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The Milestone Award recognizes "a specific, unprecedented or outstanding achievement in the field of country music during the preceding calendar year."
Additionally, during the 2018 ACM Honors ceremony, Alan Jackson will receive the ACM Cliffie Stone Icon Award, which honors those "who throughout their career [have] advanced the popularity of the genre through their contributions in multiple facets of the industry," while Darius Rucker will be presented with the ACM Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award in recognition of his work raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and other philanthropic efforts. The Lifting Lives Award honors those who are "devoted to improving lives through the power of music, has a generosity of spirit and is committed to serving others."
Other honors to be handed out during the 2018 ACM Honors include the ACM Poet's Award, "for outstanding and longstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their career" (Matraca Berg and Norro Wilson); the ACM Mae Boren Axton Service Award, recognizing "years of dedication and service to the Academy of Country Music" (Mickey Christensen, Chris Christensen and Eddie Miller); and the ACM Jim Reeves International Award, for "outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world" (Rob Potts). Rhett Akins, 2018's ACM Songwriter of the Year, as well as other Industry Awards and Studio Recording Awards winners, will also receive their trophies that night.
For its 12th year, the 2018 ACM Honors ceremony will take place at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Aug. 22. In 2016, the ACM Honors ceremony was broadcast on CBS for the first time ever, a few days after it took place in Nashville; the trend continued in 2017, and the 2018 ACM Honors ceremony will also air on CBS after the event, though exact details have yet to be announced.