Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gatlin Brothers, Reba, Garth & Taylor Swift Among Early ACM Winners

Although the The Academy of Country Music Awards aren't officially held until Sunday night, the ACM announced its off-camera awards yesterday (Tuesday). The Gatlin Brothers, Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks were among the winners.

McEntire received the career achievement award for advancing the popularity and acceptance of country music. McEntire will also host this year's event along with Blake Shelton. Swift won the Jim Reeves International Award, which is given for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world.

Motion picture Country Strong — which traces the comeback attempt of a troubled country star and features Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow — took the Tex Ritter Award for featuring country music, and Brooks and Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers received the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award, which honors artists who are deemed pioneers in country music.

The musicians, band and instrumental awards also were revealed. The winners are: producer of the year, Paul Worley; audio engineer of the year, Chuck Ainlay; bass player of the year, Glenn Worf; percussionist/drummer of the year, Eddie Bayers; guitarist of the year, Tom Bukovac; fiddle player of the year, Aubrey Haynie; piano/keyboard player of the year, Gordon Mote; specialty instrument player of the year, Bryan Sutton; and steel guitar player of the year, Dan Dugmore.

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