During a Grand Ole Opry performance this weekend, country legend Jeannie Seely was surprised with the Country Music Association’s Joe Talbot Award. CMA Board President Kella Farris made the special presentation, which elicited a standing ovation from the Opry house crowd.
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. Since its creation in 2001, the award has been presented to 12 individuals, including Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, Janette Carter, Kitty Moon Emery, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Charlie Monk, Louise Scruggs, Marty Stuart and Talbot himself.
“How wonderful to be honored for doing what you love to do and love to share with others! My surprise was obvious since I am rarely at a loss for words, but this caught me totally speechless!,” said Seely. “While country music will always, and must always evolve, we must always remember the Grand Ole Opry is the cornerstone our industry was built on with music that represented the people. My sincere appreciation to CMA and the folks who recognized how much I care, and I’m proud to be in such great company! Thank you!”
As a long-time mentor for many female artists in the genre, Seely’s influence on the format has been undeniable. She took to the stage during the inaugural Fan Fair in 1972 and has remained a devoted supporter and advocate for country music. Seely was recognized last year for having the most performances in the Grand Ole Opry’s 98-year history with over 5,000 shows. Since 2018, she has hosted her own weekly program, Sunday with Seely, on SiriusXM’s Willie’s Roadhouse channel. Seely continuously strives to positively represent country music and promote its traditions to generations of fans.
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