Dick Clark, who passed away last year, began producing the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1979 and helped introduce audiences all over America to the most talented artists in country music. Clark had long been an ambassador for a wide-range of musical genres and with his guidance, ushered the Academy of Country Music Awards through the decades to become one of the industry’s biggest events.
“It is truly appropriate that we pay tribute to my father, longtime ACM Awards executive producer Dick Clark. As one of the current executive producers and Dick’s son, I’m honored that George and Garth graciously accepted my personal request to pay tribute to a man we all loved,” stated R.A. Clark.
“He was a friend to all of us and helped shape our organization. There’s no doubt the Academy of Country Music wouldn’t be one of the highest-rated and watched awards shows without Dick’s vision and commitment,” commented Bob Romeo, CEO of the Academy of Country Music.
“Dick helped make country music accessible to a larger fan base and his efforts will not be forgotten. Garth and I were so grateful when we each received the ACM Artist of the Decade Award, so it’s only fitting that we’ll be honoring him with this tribute performance at the ACMs,” said George Strait.
“I commend the Academy on naming the ACM Artist of the Decade Award after Dick Clark. Although there is no award the entertainment industry has that can match the magnitude of the star Dick Clark was, and still is, it is an honor to get to be a part of the Academy’s tribute to him. There may be others who have contributed as much to the music industry, but there is definitely no one that has contributed more than Dick Clark. He was music’s best friend, and a dear friend to me,” said Garth Brooks.
Recipients of the ACM Artist of the Decade Award include Strait in 2009, Brooks in 1998, Alabama in 1988, Loretta Lynn in 1979 and Marty Robbins in 1969. The ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award is an Academy honor bestowed on a country music artist only once every decade.
George Strait has won twenty Academy of Country Music Awards, including the Artist of the Decade award, an award that has only been given to four other acts in the Academy’s history. He also holds the record for the most No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. He has sold more than 68 million records, garnering him 32 different platinum or multi-platinum albums resulting in the most RIAA platinum certifications in country music and the third in all genres, behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Strait recently released his newest single, “Give It All We Got Tonight”—the first release from his forthcoming 2013 album, Love is Everything, due in stores on May 14. Strait also placed #1 on Pollstar’s Concert Pulse chart in March after the first leg of his on-going two-year final U.S. tour, “The Cowboy Rides Away Tour” with special guest Martina McBride.
Garth Brooks is a pivotal figure in the history of country music, garnering over twenty ACM Awards, including six Entertainer of the Year Awards, an Artist of the Decade award, and a Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award, honoring individuals who are pioneers in the country music genre. Certified by the RIAA in 2000 as the #1-selling solo artist in U.S. history, Brooks has sold in excess of over 128 million albums and has received every accolade the recording industry can bestow on an artist. With his commercially savvy fusion of post-Merle Haggard country, honky-tonk, post-folk-rock sensitive singer/songwriter sensibilities, and '70s arena rock dramatics, Brooks brought country music to a new audience in the '90s — namely, a mass audience. Before Brooks, it was inconceivable for a country artist to go multi-platinum. He shattered that barrier in 1991, when his second album, No Fences, began its chart domination, and its follow-up, Ropin' the Wind, became the first country album to debut at the top of the pop charts. He is currently raising his children in Oklahoma.