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Eric Church and Willie Nelson to receive special Academy of Country Music honours

Eric Church and Willie Nelson are set to be honoured during the Academy of Country Music Special Awards ceremony.
The 11th annual ACMs will be held at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee on 23 August (17), where Church will receive the Merle Haggard Spirit Award and Nelson will accept the coveted Poet’s Award.
Church’s prize, which was picked up my Miranda Lambert last year (16), is given to the artist who best embodies the legacy of the late Haggard.
Meanwhile, the Poet’s Award will also be given to Toby Keith and songwriter, poet and cartoonist Shel Silverstein, who died in 1999. The accolade is reserved for those who have made “outstanding and longstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their careerS.”
Other country stars who will take home special awards during the prizegiving include Dolly Parton (the Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award), Kelsea Ballerini (the Gene Weed Milestone Award), George Strait (the Cliffie Stone Icon Award), Bob Kingsley and Reba McEntire (both receiving the Mae Boren Axton Service Award), and Lori McKenna (Songwriter of the Year Award).
McKenna is the first woman to take home the songwriting honour.

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