Luke Combs, Lady A Receive 2021 ACM Honors

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Luke Combs, Lady A and Dan + Shay were among the acts feted Wednesday night at the 14th annual ACM Honors in Nashville.

Combs was recognized with the ACM Gene Weed Milestone Award as one of only a handful of artists to earn a double platinum album in the U.S. this year.

“Thanks to everybody sitting in this audience,” he said. “Thanks to country music fans. The reason why I get to do what I love to do, what Ashley gets to do what she loves to do, what all of us get to do what we love to do is because of people like you.”

Lady A picked up the Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award for “improving lives through the power of music.”

Hillary Scott said: “We are so unbelievably humbled and honoured to receive this award. Doing camp, first of all, with Lifting Lives was so incredibly fun … We're just so grateful that this stage allows us to do things like Lifting Lives and work with other organizations and all the organizations within Lady A that we are so passionate about. We say thank you. Our work is not done.”

Dan + Shay were presented with the Jim Reeves International Award, which recognizes “outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world,” by the songwriters who penned their hits.

“Without the songwriters in this town, we would have none of this,” said Dan Smyers. “None of the shows, none of the record sales. It all starts with the song. You guys are responsible for the biggest songs in our career. You're the reason we get to live our dream every day and stand on this stage.”

Loretta Lynn, who was honoured with the ACM Poet’s Award, was not able to attend the ceremony but tweeted: “It’s such a huge honor to me to receive the Poet’s Award … Thank y’all so much.”

Also receiving ACM Honors this year were Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, Ross Copperman, Joe Galante, Gretchen Peters, Curly Putman and Ken Burns’ documentary Country Music.

Performers included Trace Adkins, Lauren Alaina, Ronnie Dunn, HARDY, Alan Jackson, Chris Janson, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, RaeLynn, Keith Urban and Lee Ann Womack.

- with files by Hayden Brooks, Emily Lee and Kelly Fisher of iHeartRadio

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