The 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards (“ACMs”) pulled out all the stops for the monumental show. Not only did the ACMs move to a venue that holds approximately 80,000 spectators and nearly fill the seats, but awards show attendees found themselves sitting amongst some of the best country artists in the history of the genre.
To commemorate the milestone year of the ACMs, the Academy cleverly created the “Milestone Award” to be presented to seven artists whose career achievements surpass those of their peers and are deserving of special praise. The artists ranged from an artist with sixty Number 1s in sixty years to a twenty-five year-old who has impacted several genres of music and continues world domination.
Below are the seven ACMs Milestone Award recipients and musical proof of these artists’ everlasting influence on country music.
ACMs Milestone Award Recipients
(Listed alphabetically by first name)
1. Brooks & Dunn
The team of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn broke hearts throughout the country music community when they announced the dissolution of their musical partnership. Brooks & Dunn has released over fifty singles, with twenty Number 1s and nineteen other Top 10 hits, and has won more awards than we can even begin to list, making them the most successful duo in country music. “Neon Moon” is a perfect example of why Brooks & Dunn has made its mark on the genre’s history.
2. Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks are two words that are synonymous with country music. In fact, if you ask a country music non-lover (yes, those actually exist!) to name an artist, one of the names you will hear most is Garth’s. He has seen many milestones in his twenty-five years and “The Dance” is an exemplary representation of why he also saw the ACMs Milestone Award.
3. George Strait
When George Strait was sixty, fans rallied to make sure he achieved his sixtieth Number 1 before his next birthday. The campaign went off without a hitch and he hit that milestone with “Give It All We Got Tonight.” With that milestone, he helped secure himself this Milestone.
4. Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney once sang “There Goes My Life,” and wow has time certainly flown for this blue chair-rocking, muscle shirt-donning artist who was the first ever winner of the fan-voted ACM Entertainer of the Year Award. With just shy of thirty Number 1 songs, a current sell-out tour, and the statistic of being the first recipient of the tremendous award as chosen by fans, Kenny’s Milestone status is undeniable.
5. Miranda Lambert
The still reigning ACMs Female Vocalist of the Year has made it a habit of racking up every award for which she is nominated. While some may roll their eyes every time Miranda’s name is announced as the winner for a category, the fact is she continues to release top-notch music and holds nothing back. As the leading female in country music in this day and age and one of the few who has been able to squeak past the boundaries of “Bro Country,” Miranda has definitely hit a Milestone marker in her career.
6. Reba McEntire
Here’s her one chance and “Fancy” did not let us down. Reba just release her first studio album in years and is now vying for the Number 1 spot on the charts, and she also made a testament to all of Dallas, Texas and country music at the ACMs that she ain’t “Going Out Like That!” If “that” means without a gorgeous Milestone Award in her hands, she was most certainly right. She didn’t go out like “that”; she went out as an honored recipient while her daughter-in-law, Kelly Clarkson, exclaimed that everybody can “suck it!”
7. Taylor Swift
Last, but not least, is the youngest female artist to ever receive the ACMs Entertainer of the Year Award; and she did so in consecutive years. Not only has Taylor Swift conquered country music, starting her career by singing of a man named “Tim McGraw” and continuing by singing about men who have broken her heart, but she has entered and slayed the pop world, as well. We can always say we knew her first, but the person who really knew her first made this particular Milestone Award presentation the best of the night. In fact, words can’t do it justice, so ………..
BONUS: Watch Taylor Swift’s mom, Andrea, present her daughter with the ACMs Milestone Award
For a complete list of ACM Award winners, click here.