The Country Music Association honored 16 industry professionals during the 2022 CMA Touring Awards last night (Jan. 30) at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works.
Hosted by Keith Urban, the ceremony marked the return of the CMA Touring Awards after its two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. With the touring sector being the second largest category of CMA membership, the evening was filled with celebratory reunions.
CAA Music Nashville Co-Head John Huie received the CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement Award. His fellow CAA Music Nashville Co-Head Rod Essig presented him with the night’s hightest honor, which is given to an individual who has positively impacted and contributed to the growth of touring throughout the years as well as made an unprecedented historical impact on country music fans and the industry alike, and whose presence will have a long-term positive impact on country music and CMA for generations to come.
Prior to his award acceptance, a video montage played featuring interviews and congratulatory messages from artists and industry executives who have worked closely with and have been impacted by Huie. Zac Brown, Essig, Amy Grant, Joan Jett, Lady A, Rob Light, Ron Sakamoto and Michael W. Smith all spoke about his personality, hard work, dedication and support for his artists and peers.
During the ceremony, Urban took time honor his longtime production manager, Randy “Baja” Fletcher, who passed away while on the road in 2021. Natalie Fletcher, Randy Fletcher’s daughter, took the stage to talk about her father’s legacy as well as her own experience on the road with Urban this past year. Echoing an underlying theme from all the Touring Award recipients was Natalie’s immense gratitude to be back on the road again and for each member of the “road family” that work tirelessly to make life on the road run smoothly.
The 2022 CMA Touring Award winners were determined by CMA members in the following 15 categories: Advertising/Public Relations/Media; Affiliated; Artist; Entertainment Services; Marketing/Digital; Musician; Personal Manager; Record Label; Talent Agent; Talent Buyer/Promoter; Touring; and Venue.
2022 CMA Touring Award Winners:
Category 1 – Business Manager of the Year
Stephanie Mundy Self (Farris, Self & Moore, LLC)
Category 2 – Coach/Truck Driver of the Year
John Stalder (Kenny Chesney)
Category 3 – Front Of House (FOH) Engineer of the Year
Robert Scovill (Kenny Chesney)
Category 4 – Lighting Director of the Year
Chris Reade (Dierks Bentley)
Category 5 – Manager of the Year
Chris Kappy (Make Wake Artists)
Category 6 – Tour Manager of the Year
David Farmer (Kenny Chesney)
Category 7 – Monitor Engineer of the Year
Michael Zuehsow (Luke Combs)
Category 8 – Production Manager of the Year
Jerry Slone (Luke Combs)
Category 9 – Publicist of the Year
Ebie McFarland (Essential Broadcast Media)
Category 10 – Talent Agent of the Year
Austin Neal (The Neal Agency)
Category 11 – Talent Buyer/Promoter of the Year
Brian O’Connell (Live Nation Nashville)
Category 12 – Tour Videographer/Photographer of the Year
Jill Trunnell (Kenny Chesney)
Category 13 – Tour Video Director of the Year
Tyler Hutcheson (Luke Combs)
Category 14 – Touring Musician of the Year
Dan Hochhalter (Dierks Bentley)
Category 15 – Venue of the Year
Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN)
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