2010 ACM Honors

To promote and develop the genre of country music in the western states of America, members of the West Coast music industry, the most notable being Eddie Dean, established the Academy of Country Music, also referred to as ACM, in the year 1964. Four years ago the ACM decided to create the ACM Honors, a ceremony separate from the famed ACM Awards, for special awards recipients along with non-televised category winners. The ACM Honors were held on Monday, 20 September 2010, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and was hosted by none other than Lee Ann Womack.

The 4th Academy of Country Music Honors was well attended by fans, musicians and popular country music stars. The winners of the 2010 ACM Honors were as follows:

Venue of the Year – Bridgestone Arena in Nashville
Casino of the Year – Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino in Las Vegas
Nightclub of the Year – Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth
Promoter of the Year – Brian O’Connell
Don Romeo Talent Buyer of the Year – Todd Boltin
Top Specialty Instrument Player of the Year – Randy Scruggs
Top Piano / Keyboard Player of the Year – Michael Rojas
Top Bass Player of the Year – Michael Rhodes
Audio Engineer of the Year – Justin Niebank
Top Guitarist of the Year – Brent Mason
Producer of the Year – Dann Huff
Top Steel Guitar Player of the Year – Paul Franklin
Top Percussionist / Drummer of the Year – Shannon Forrest
Top Fiddle Player of the Year – Stuart Duncan
Mae Boren Axton Award – Rod Essig (Creative Artists Agency)
Tex Ritter Award – Crazy Heart
Poet’s Award – Cindy Walker
Poet’s Award – Don Schlitz
Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award – Mel Tillis
Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award – Marty Robbins
Jim Reeves International Award – Keith Urban

Being bestowed the highest tribute of the ACM Honors was an exciting moment for Keith Urban, and before the ceremony he commented: “It’s a bit surreal, and it’s a huge honor. I know for me, growing up in Australia, I listened to country music and my dad’s record collection was all country. Johnny Cash was the first concert I saw when I was about five, and then I saw Tom T. Hall after that. Since then, in Australia, I’ve seen Charley Pride and Dolly Parton, and there’s been so many other artists. It seems that in the last decade, it slowed down; people weren’t touring internationally as much through the ’90s. I’m really happy to see that come back again. I mean, Tim McGraw’s in Australia right now. Brooks & Dunn have been down there a couple of times as well as Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley. Alan Jackson’s looking to go next year for the first time. And of course, internationally, Taylor Swift’s touring everywhere that has an outlet. It’s just great. It’s absolutely great.”