The Country Music Association recently presented its annual industry honors to four of the industry’s finest.
Renowned documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan are the 2022 recipients of CMA’s Joe Talbot Award; CMT Senior Vice President, Music Strategy Leslie Fram has received the 2022 CMA Media Achievement Award; and Bandit Lites Founder/Chair Michael Strickland is the 2022 recipient of the CMA Foundation Humanitarian Award.
The CMA Joe Talbot Award is presented in recognition of outstanding leadership and contributions to the preservation and advancement of country music’s values and tradition. Burns and Duncan were surprised with news of their awards via Zoom by CMA CEO, Sarah Trahern. Duncan was able to accept his trophy in person during a visit to Nashville for the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony in October. The two men are the visionaries behind the recent PBS documentary Country Music, which explores the history of the uniquely American art form, from its roots in small settings to its worldwide popularity over the course of the 20th century.
The CMA Media Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievements in the media as they relate to country music. During the recent CMT Next Women of Country concert at Nashville’s City Winery, Fram was surprised by CMA Senior Director, Industry Relations & Inclusion, Mia McNeal. The pair were joined on stage by participants of CMT and Mtheory’s Equal Access Development Program, including Charlene Bryant, Madeline Edwards, Miko Marks, and Valerie Ponzio as well as Mtheory’s Cameo Carlson, Tiffany Provenzano, and Chantrel Reynolds. Fram is at the forefront of a number of equity initiatives within country music, including CMT Next Women of Country and Equal Access.
The CMA Foundation Humanitarian Award honors an individual who has served as a humanitarian through community leadership, financial support, personal volunteerism, and advocacy, supporting worthwhile causes important to the country music community. Strickland was recognized at the Pre-Telecast Ceremony during the 56th Annual CMA Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Strickland has advocated on behalf of the live events industry facet, testifying before the U.S. Senate on the pandemic’s effects on the music industry and ensuring live events professionals and organizations received federal funding through various legislative bills.
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