Music

Alan Jackson & Buddy Cannon to Be Honored During Nashville Songwriter Awards

Country Music Hall of Fame member Alan Jackson and writer-producer Buddy Cannon are among those to be feted at the upcoming seventh annual Nashville Songwriter Awards — presented by the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) — which will return to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Sept. 24.

The celebration will honor the peer-voted “10 Songs I Wish I’d Written,” as well as NSAI’s song, songwriter and songwriter-artist of the year honorees and individuals who have had considerable influence in the world of songwriting.

Jackson will be honored with the Kris Kristofferson lifetime achievement award. He has earned 26 Billboard No. 1 Country Airplay hits during his career as a performer, but also as a songwriter on hits including “Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” “Gone Country,” “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” and “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).” Jackson has been lauded by the Grammys, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association, and has earned stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Music City Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011 and the all-genre Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.

“When the NSAI board of directors chose Alan Jackson as this year’s recipient of the Kris Kristofferson lifetime achievement award, I knew they had made a fantastic choice,” Jennifer Turnbow, NSAI COO, said in a statement. “I was eager to craft a segment of our annual awards show around his work as a songwriter. But it wasn’t until I really studied his body of work and recalled decades of his songs that I realized just how deserving he was of this recognition. Alan’s songs, many of which he wrote by himself, have marked significant moments in time and are etched into the memories of multiple generations. Choosing only a handful of his many hits to highlight in a celebration of his career will be incredibly challenging … that I’m looking forward to!” 

“City National Bank has supported the music industry from the first day we opened our doors in 1954, and we are especially proud of our work in the beloved country music and local Nashville communities,” Diane Pearson and Lori Badgett, co-managers of City National Entertainment in Nashville, offered in a statement. “On behalf of City National, we congratulate the incomparable Alan Jackson for his Kris Kristofferson lifetime achievement award. For decades, Alan, as both an artist and a songwriter, has delivered the most inspirational, motivational and uplifting music, and we applaud the recognition of his eloquent songwriting artistry.”

Cannon will be recognized with the NSAI president’s keystone award, honoring his contributions to the industry, including his work with artists Kenny Chesney and Willie Nelson. He launched his career by playing bass for Bob Luman and Mel Tillis, and later gained acclaim as a songwriter for co-writing hits including Vern Gosdin’s “Set ‘Em Up Joe,” as well as George Strait’s “I’ve Come To Expect It From You” and “Give It Away.” Cannon’s work as an A&R executive has included signing and developing artists including Shania Twain and Billy Ray Cyrus, while he has also helmed projects for artists including Alison Krauss, George Jones and Reba McEntire. He has won three Grammy Awards for his work with Nelson and in 2006 was named the ACM’s producer of the year. He was also a 2021 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee. Cannon and Chesney just celebrated their latest No. 1 hit with “Take Her Home.”

“Buddy Cannon has spent decades as an elite member of our Music Row community,” NSAI president Lee Thomas Miller said in a statement. “He has written songs for some of country music’s most legendary superstars, has ridden buses playing in their bands and he is one of the most important record producers of the last 30 years. It is impossible to calculate the impact Buddy Cannon has had on the songwriters in this town. He is famous for being tough on songs, and helping build multidecade careers, like Kenny Chesney’s, is an example of how incredible his barometer is for a hit song. I’m proud to present Buddy Cannon with the 2024 NSAI president’s award.”

Starting this year, NSAI introduces a new accolade, the legendary song honor, which will fete one tune chosen by the association’s professional songwriting members as the legendary song of its time, starting with tracks from 1967 to 1983. The NSAI board of directors selected 10 impactful songs in the given range, and the pro membership anonymously voted to determine the winning song. The inaugural legendary song award recipient will be revealed and performed during the show.

Performer and ticket information for the Nashville Songwriter Awards will be announced soon, with the on-sale date set for July 26. The awards are supported by City National Bank, the Recording Academy’s Songwriters & Composers Wing, SoundExchange, Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and The Mechanical Licensing Collective.

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