Rhett Akins Named First-Ever ACM Songwriter of the Decade

Photo L-R: Ed Warm, Academy of Country Music Chairman; RAC Clark, ACM Interim Executive Director; Sonya Akins; Rhett Akins; Lauren Akins; Willa Gray Akins; Ada James Akins; Thomas Rhett. Photo Credit: Alex Justice

Rhett Akins was honored with the ACM Songwriter of the Decade Award during a surprise presentation backstage at his son Thomas Rhett’s recent tour stop at the United Center in Chicago.

This honor is one of seven new ACM Decade Awards categories. Factors considered for the ACM Songwriter of the Decade Award include success of body of work at radio, commercial media, sales and streaming, creative integrity, artistic merit and ACM Award recognition.

To that end, Akins was named ACM Songwriter of the Year in 2017 and was nominated in the same category in 2011 and 2013. His first ACM nomination came in 1997 for Top New Male Vocalist. During his 24 years of hitmaking, Akins has had 30 No.1 singles and 36 BMI Awards.

The ACM Decade Awards were ratified by the ACM Board of Directors, following a stringent examination by more than 20 Board members and the ACM Special Awards Committee, co-chaired by Chuck Aly and Kelly Rich.

The ACM Song of the Decade Award was recently awarded to Miranda Lambert, and songwriters Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, for “The House That Built Me.” Recipients of the remaining Decade Award categories (Album, Artist-Songwriter, Breakout Artist, Single, and Music Event) will be announced in the coming weeks.


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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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