The Academy of Country Music Special Awards are voted on by the ACM Board of Directors and are awarded during years where the Board of Directors feels there are clear and deserving candidates. Industry Awards are voted on by professional members of the Academy. The MBI ballot is voted on by professional members of the Academy classified in the Artist-Entertainer/Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist category, and the Producer-Engineer-Studio Manager sub-category (contained within the Affiliated category). The Songwriter of the Year ballot is voted on by professional members of the Academy in the following categories: Artist-Entertainer/Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist, Composer, Music Publisher/PRO, Record Company, and the Producer/Engineer/Studio Manager subcategory (contained within the Affiliated category).
The special awards presented are as follows:
The Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award winners are The Judds and Keith Whitley. THe award honors individuals who are pioneers in the Country Music genre.
The Crystal Milestone Award winner is Jason Aldean. The award honors artists or industry leaders to commemorate a specific, remarkable achievement. In Aldean's case his meteoric rise to a Stadium-level sell-out touring artist.
The Gene Weed Special Achievement award: Blake Shelton. The award goes to people who have attained unprecedented, unique and outstanding individual achievements in Country Music. Blake Shelton won the award for his role on NBC's "The Voice" along with being a good ambassador for country music.
The Jim Reeves International Award was presented to Lady Antebellum. The award honors artists for their outstanding contributions to the acceptance of Country Music throughout the world.
The Mae Boren Axton Award goes to Tommy Wiggins. The award is presented to industry members and artists in recognition of years of dedication and service by an outstanding individual to the Academy of Country Music. Tommy Wiggins was the co-founder of the ACM.
The Poet's Award was awarded to Guy Clark and Hank Williams. It's an award which honors outstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their careers in the field of Country Music.
MBI (MUSICIAN, BANDLEADER, INSTRUMENTALIST) AWARDS:
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – Jay Joyce
AUDIO ENGINEER OF THE YEAR – Chuck Ainlay
BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Jimmie Lee Sloas
PERCUSSIONIST/DRUMMER OF THE YEAR – Matt Chamberlain
FIDDLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Aubrey Haynie
GUITARIST OF THE YEAR – J.T. Corenflos
PIANO/KEYBOARDS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Michael Rojas
SPECIALTY INSTRUMENT(S) PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Ilya Toshinsky
STEEL GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Mike Johnson
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR – Dallas Davidson
CASINO OF THE YEAR – Red Rock Casino & Resort – Las Vegas
NIGHTCLUB OF THE YEAR – Joe’s Bar – Chicago
VENUE OF THE YEAR – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, Tenn.
DON ROMEO TALENT BUYER OF THE YEAR – Jerry Hufford – Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR – Ed Warm – Joe’s Bar