Kris Kristofferson To Be Honored With Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award

Kris Kristofferson. Photo: Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Mark/courtesy of CMA

Kris Kristofferson will be the latest recipient of the 2019 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming CMA Awards Nov. 13.

A special tribute to the legend is planned during The 53rd Annual CMA Awards featuring a not-to-be-missed performance of Kristofferson’s classic “Me and Bobby McGee” by Dierks Bentley with Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson and John Osborne. The 53rd Annual CMA Awards broadcasts live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Nov. 13 at 8/7c on ABC.

“Kris is a living legend whose impact on our genre has been monumental,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “He is the definition of an icon and someone our community holds with such high regard. I’m thrilled our Board selected Kris this year for one of CMA’s highest accolades. Though he won’t be joining us at the CMA Awards, I hope our tribute performance brings a big smile to his face.”

Kristofferson, a Country Music Hall of Fame member, is an eight-time CMA Awards nominee, receiving his most recent nod in 2012 for CMA Musical Event of the Year with “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” collaborating with Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Jamey Johnson. He won CMA Song of the Year in 1970 for the chart-topping “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” first recorded by Ray Stevens in 1969, then by Johnny Cash in 1970. The Texas native achieved meteoric success as a songwriter starting in the 1970s, and his songs, “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night” and “For the Good Times,” helped redefine country songwriting. By 1987, over 450 artists had recorded his compositions, and his renown as a songwriter turned heads in Hollywood, leading to a flourishing career as a film actor. He won the 1977 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy in A Star Is Born and has landed spots in more than 70 films. Kristofferson is a three-time Grammy winner with 30 recorded albums to his credit and three decades worth of international touring. He received country’s highest honor in 2004 with induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Other accolades include the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriter Hall of Fame, CMT’s Johnny Cash Visionary Award, BMI’s Icon Award, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, among others.

The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in country music. The Award was established to recognize an artist who has achieved both national and international prominence through performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales, and public representation at the highest level. Previous recipients of the award include Willie Nelson (2012), Kenny Rogers (2013), Johnny Cash (2015), and Dolly Parton (2016).

Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, perform “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk the Line” as part of the Johnny Cash Tribute during “The 37th Annual CMA Awards,”on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2003, live from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn. on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Courtesy of CMA

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About the Author

Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has over 20 years of music business experience and has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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