2016 Honorees

by martinhalo in
Vince Gill

One of the most popular and most recorded singers of the past quarter-century, superstar Vince Gill has become the measure of excellence in country music. His vocal performances are spellbinding, his songwriting emotionally powerful and his guitar-playing world-class.

Gill achieved his big breakthrough with “When I Call Your Name,” which won the Country Music Association’s Single of the Year award. Since then, he has won 17 more CMA honors, including Song of the Year four times – making him the most-awarded artist in that category in CMA history. The Academy of Country Music has handed Gill 8 awards, including their prestigious “The Home Depot Humanitarian Award” and the “Career Achievement Award.” Since 1990, Gill has received 20 GRAMMY Awards and has sold more than 26 million albums. Gill was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry. In August 2012, Gill was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is a member of the four-time Grammy-nominated band The Time Jumpers; Rounder Records released the band’s first studio album on September 11, 2012.

Gill just released his new MCA Records album, Down To My Last Bad Habit, of which he wrote/co-wrote, co-produced and is a featured musician on all 12 songs.

Vincent Grant Gill was born April 12, 1957 in Norman, Oklahoma and raised in Oklahoma City, OK. Vince’s parents encouraged him to learn to play guitar and banjo, which he did, eventually adding bass, mandolin, dobro and fiddle to his instrumental array.

Gill’s high, pure tenor voice and unerring sense of harmony have caused dozens of artists—from Reba McEntire to Dolly Parton to Barbra Streisand—to embrace him as a duet partner. After working more than 30 years as a professional musician, Gill has established himself as one of the most successful guitarists of his generation. Combining a deep knowledge of Americana, bluegrass, and classic country with the fire of ’60s rock, Gill has earned a place next to his musical heroes.

In addition to his passion for music, Gill donates a great deal of his time supporting numerous charitable organizations. He is one of country music’s most active and effective humanitarians.

Emmylou Harris

A 13-time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient, Emmylou Harris’ contribution as a singer and songwriter spans 40 years. She has recorded more than 25 albums and has lent her talents to countless fellow artists’ recordings. In recognition of her remarkable career, Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

Harris is known as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. Admired through her career for her talent as an artist and song connoisseur, Harris shook up country radio in the 1970s, and established herself as the premiere songwriter of a generation selling more than 15 million records and garnering 13 Grammy Awards, three CMA Awards, and two Americana Awards.

Harris is one of the most admired and influential women in music. She has recorded with such diverse artists as Linda Ronstadt, Daniel Lanois, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Ryan Adams, Beck, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett and most recently Rodney Crowell. Few artists have achieved such honesty or have revealed such maturity in their writing. Forty years into her career, Harris continues to share the hard-earned wisdom that—hopefully if not inevitably—comes with getting older, though she’s never stopped looking ahead.

A longtime social activist, Harris has lent her voice to many causes. She has performed at Lilith Fair, helping promote feminism in music and organizing several benefit tours to support the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. Harris is also an avid supporter of animal rights and is actively involved in Bonaparte’s Retreat, the dog rescue organization that she founded.

Grand Ole Opry

What began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 is today a live entertainment phenomenon. Dedicated to honoring country music’s rich history and dynamic present, the Grand Ole Opry showcases a mix of country legends and the contemporary chart-toppers who have followed in their footsteps. The Opry, an American icon and Nashville, Tennessee’s number-one attraction, is world-famous for creating one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences for audiences of all ages.

It’s been called the “home of American music” and “country’s most famous stage.” Every year, hundreds of thousands of people make pilgrimages across town or around the world to the Grand Ole Opry to see the show live. Millions more tune in to Opry broadcasts via a mobile app, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Nashville’s 650 AM WSM, and on opry.com and wsmonline.com.