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"I've always known about the big night and always wanted to be a part of it. The opportunity came up this year and I jumped at it, especially when I saw the people being honored," the country star says. "A lot of the people I'll see tonight are folks that I've admired and look up to. They are all from different eras in country music and from different sides of the industry, from recording to the business side. It will be a great night."
The "Tip It on Back" singer notes that it is important to recognize the men and women behind the scenes in country music, as well as the singers who stand on stage every night. "If you talk to any country singer, the first thing they'll say is is it takes a big family to make all this happen. The singers look up to songwriters, songwriters love musicians, musicians need someone to help them get a gig, so it's a never ending circle of friends and family who support each other. I'll be excited to be there to meet them and see them receive some recognition."
Dierks also appreciates the ACM Honors' less-formal atmosphere, which is allowed partly by the fact that it's not a live televised event, like most awards shows. "It's a behind-the-scenes party, and you're really gonna get a chance to see singers, songwriters, musicians and folks in the industry be looser and having fun telling stories, kind of like a country music roast. It is really a fun thing to be a part of. There will be a lot of laughs and a lot of great stories tonight."
Luke Bryan is also excited about being a part of the ACM Honors event, where he will pay tribute to his friend and frequent co-writer, Dallas Davidson.
"The fact that Dallas and I are in this business together is amazing," Luke says. "We'll go fishing or hunting and shake our heads and giggle. The history between he and I is just so deep. The fact that I have the opportunity to honor him on this night and do some of our songs, and the fact that he and I have even written big hits is just borderline comical and pretty special."
The 6th annual ACM Honors will see Clint Black, T Bone Burnett, Luke Bryan, Rodney Crowell, Hunter Hayes, Will Hoge, Randy Houser, Big & Rich's Big Kenny, Jana Kramer, Love and Theft, Buddy Miller, Ashley Monroe, Kellie Pickler and Dailey & Vincent honor the award recipients. The ceremony takes place at the Ryman Auditorium tonight (Sept. 24) at 7:00 PM CT.
ACM Special Award recipients include the following:
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
Watch Our Day in the Life of Dierks Bentley Video