THE "44TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS," HOSTED BY REBA McENTIRE, WILL BE BROADCAST LIVE FROM THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA IN LAS VEGAS ON SUNDAY, APRIL 5 ON CBS
The 44th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, honoring country music�s top talent and the industry�s hottest emerging talent, will be broadcast Sunday, April 5 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. The special, hosted by music, film and television legend Reba McEntire for the 11th time, will be broadcast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
In addition, the Academy will tape a new special, ARTIST OF THE DECADE, honoring George Strait, at the same location on Monday, April 6 to air on the Network at a later date. This marks the first time the award will be delivered during its own, unique televised event.
Host Reba McEntire has won 11 Academy of Country Music Awards including the first-ever annual Academy of Country Music/The Home Depot Humanitarian Award for her outstanding philanthropic work. In 2003, the Academy of Country Music awarded her the title of "Leading Lady" in recognition of her status as the all-time leading winner in the Top Female Vocalist category with seven wins.
This is the second year the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS will take place on a Sunday, the fourth year the show will be based at the MGM Grand and the seventh year the show will be held in Las Vegas.
"King of Country" George Strait will receive the Academy�s ARTIST OF THE DECADE award in recognition of his record-breaking career, which spans nearly 25 years. Only four other acts have been honored as ARTIST OF THE DECADE in the Academy�s history, including Marty Robbins in 1969, Loretta Lynn in 1979, Alabama in 1988 and Garth Brooks in 1998. Strait has won 19 Academy of Country Music Awards including Entertainer of the Year in 1990. He holds the record for the most Number One hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, and currently has 56 Number One hit singles to his credit. 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. His current album, Troubadour, is certified gold.
"We are thrilled that Reba is back to host and that George will be honored with this milestone award," said Bob Romeo, Executive Director of the Academy of Country Music. "The Academy and dick clark productions are committed to bringing the best in country music entertainment to fans in their own homes in 2009 � both shows are not-to-be-missed events!"
"Nearly 12 million viewers tuned into our show this year and we�re driving ourselves to deliver an even bigger, better show to those viewers in 2009," said Orly Adelson, President of dick clark productions. "The Awards have become a concert event, treating music fans to amazing performances, unexpected combinations of artists and memorable moments. We expect both shows next year to deliver on those elements."
Founded in 1964, the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC is an artist and industry-driven organization, providing the financial resources to ensure the on-going philanthropic work of its Charitable Fund. The Academy of Country Music Charitable Fund (ACMCF) promotes music-related humanitarian programs that facilitate healing through music. The Academy is comprised of more than 4,500 professional members and more than 40,000 associate members and is headquartered in Encino, Calif.
Both the 44TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS and ARTIST OF THE DECADE are produced for television by dick clark productions. Orly Adelson and R.A. Clark are executive producers, Barry Adelman is producer and Bob Bardo is executive in charge of production.
RATING: To Be Announced