Alan Jackson to Get Lifetime Achievement Award and Tribute at CMA Awards

Carrie Underwood

The country music industry is bringing Alan Jackson his roses in a big way in 2022. He was announced Thursday as this year’s recipient of the Country Music Association’s top lifetime honor, officially dubbed the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, with a tribute performance set to take place on Nov. 9’s CMA Awards telecast.

The announcement comes on the heels of Jackson having just been given the Artist of a Lifetime Award by CMT on that network’s “CMT Artists of the Year” special Oct. 14.

The tribute performance for Jackson on the CMAs will feature Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi and Lainey Wilson, the association announced Thursday.

After the award was given to Willie Nelson by the CMA in 2012, it was rebranded as the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award and subsequently given to Kenny Rogers (in 2013), Johnny Cash (2015), Dolly Parton (2016), Kris Kristofferson (2019), Charley Pride (2020) and Loretta Lynn (2021).

The musical salute to Jackson will be one of at least two such homages in the broadcast, as the CMAs already revealed that the show will open with a tribute to Lynn, who died earlier this month.

Jackson has already received what is generally considered country music’s highest honor, a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame, into which he was inducted back in 2017.

“We are thrilled to honor Alan Jackson this year with the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Sarah Trahern, the Country Music Association’s CEO, in a statement. “A three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, he is responsible for so many iconic moments in CMA Awards history. Just as Alan has been influenced by many country legends throughout his career, he too has inspired a generation of artists to stay true to the authenticity of country music. We are so excited to bring Dierks, Jon, Carrie and Lainey together on the CMA Awards stage for what will surely be an incredible and touching tribute to an artist they each deeply admire. Having had the great fortune of working with Alan over the years, I am delighted we are honoring him with this milestone award next month.”

Jackson is widely revered throughout the country world as one of the so-called new traditionalists who brought familiar country sounds and styles back into the mainstream in the early 1990s and has maintained a focus on those core elements ever since.

Underwood and Wilson had already been announced by the CMAs as getting their own spots elsewhere in the Nov. 9 show. Others revealed as part of an initial rollout of performers this week included Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Morgan Wallen, Carly Pearce, the Zac Brown Band, Jimmie Allen, Kelly Clarkson, Hardy and the broadcast’s co-host, Luke Bryan.

The 56th annual edition of the telecast airs on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/PT Nov. 9 from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, with football great Peyton Manning previously announced to emcee the show alongside Bryan.