Today the Academy of Country Music is announcing that country music superstar Dierks Bentley will host the 6th Annual ACM HONORS, an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.  The event will take place on Monday, September 24, 2012 at 7:00pm at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  Tickets priced at $37 will go on sale to the public at 8:00am PST on Friday, August 17, 2012 at the Ryman box office,, Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling 800-745-3000.  The evening is presented by City National Bank.

This is Bentley’s first time hosting the event and the third time the ceremony will be held at the Ryman Auditorium.

Those being honored include Special Award recipients Bobby Braddock, Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris,Gayle Holcomb, Alan Jackson, Billy Sherrill,Ricky Skaggs and Dwight Yoakam. Roger Miller will also be honored posthumously.  The evening also recognizes winners of the MBI (musician, bandleader, instrumentalist) and Industry categories, which are not presented during the live telecast of the Academy of Country Music Awards.  In addition, the winner of Songwriter of the Year will also be recognized, an award which has been given out only once, in 1965, to Roger Miller.

ACM Award winning singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley has forged his own brand of country music combining classic country songwriting, influences of bluegrass instrumentation and the energy of rock & roll. He recently made plans to toast the end of summer with the release of a four song EP titled COUNTRY & COLD CANS available Aug. 21 on iTunes, while simultaneously kicking off tailgating season with a limited COUNTRY & COLD CANS: BACK TO COLLEGE TOUR. The new music follows Bentley’s sixth studio album HOME, released earlier this year, which debuted at No. one and has spawned three chart-toppings hits marking 10 career No. one songs as a singer and songwriter.  His five previous studio albums have earned 10 GRAMMY nominations, sold over five million albums and an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry.

“Dierks’ incredible passion combined with his respect for and overwhelming knowledge of the country music genre, both as a renowned artist and songwriter, make him an ideal host for ACM Honors,” said Michelle Goble, Senior Vice President, Membership & Industry Relations at the Academy of Country Music. “We look forward to his contribution to the show, as we pay tribute to those who helped forge country music into the outstanding genre it is today.”

“I’m really looking forward to helping recognize this year’s ACM honorees,” said Bentley. “Country music has so many talented artists, songwriters and people working behind the scenes…I’m flattered that I’ve been asked to stand on stage beside them.”

The Academy of Country Music Special Awards are voted on by the ACM Board of Directors and are awarded during years that the Board of Directors feels there are clear and deserving candidates. Honorees include:

  • Bobby Braddock Poet’s Award
  • Kenny Chesney Crystal Milestone Award
  • Vince Gill Career Achievement Award
  • Emmylou Harris Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award
  • Gayle Holcomb Mae Boren Axton Award
  • Alan Jackson Jim Reeves International Award
  • Roger Miller (posthumously) – Poet’s Award
  • Billy Sherrill – Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award
  • Ricky Skaggs – Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award
  • Dwight Yoakam – Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award

The winners of the Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist (MBI) awards are voted on by Academy of Country Music members classified in the Artist-Entertainer/MBI category and the Producer/Engineer/Studio Manager subcategory (contained within the Affiliated category) on the final ballot.  Honorees include:

·        Stuart Duncan – Fiddle Player of the Year
·        Shannon Forrest – Percussionist/Drummer of the Year
·        Paul Franklin – Steel Guitar Player of the Year
·        Kenny Greenberg – Guitarist of the Year
·        Aubrey Haynie – Specialty Instrument(s) Player of the Year
·        John Hobbs – Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year
·        Frank Liddell – Producer of the Year
·        Justin Niebank – Audio Engineer of the Year
·        Michael Rhodes – Bass Player of the Year

The winners of the Industry Awards categories are voted on by the membership of the Academy of Country Music on the final ballot.  Honorees include:

  • Jimmy Jay, Jayson Promotions, Inc. – Don Romeo Talent Buyer of the Year
  • Brian O’Connell, Live Nation – Promoter of the Year
  • Billy Bob’s Texas (Ft. Worth, TX) – Nightclub of the Year
  • Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, TN) – Venue of the Year
  • Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas, NV) – Casino of the Year

The Songwriter of the Year Award winner is determined by a vote of Academy of Country Music members classified in the Artist-Entertainer/MBI, Composer, Music Publisher/PRO and Record Company categories, along with the Producer/Engineer/Studio Manager subcategory (contained within the Affiliated category) on the final ballot.  Honoree includes:

  • Dallas Davidson