Reba McEntire has added a CMT Artist of a Lifetime award to her already crowded trophy case. The Oklahoma-born country music legend was recently named as just the fifth recipient of the Ram trucks-sponsored award. The award dates back to 2014 and has been won by Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Shania Twain and Loretta Lynn.
During her tearful acceptance speech, McEntire reflected on all the people she's learned from in the music business.
"I appreciate the people that I got to open the show for and the ones that guided and taught...that I would get through my show and run back and sign autographs and then I'd sit there and I'd watch their show because I was learning all the time," McEntire.
The country superstar also mentioned the importance of the friends she's made, such as Vince Gill, who presented McEntire with the award.
"Vince and I we put lots of miles on buses, on planes, golf carts," McEntire joked. "Had fun together and that's what this business is all about: the people we get to learn from and get to know. I'm very blessed to have so many friends and I thank God."
McEntire also singled out Thomas Rhett, who lead a prayer earlier in the night for Kane Brown and the family of Brown's drummer, Kenny Dixon, who died in a car accident just four days before the ceremony.
"Thomas Rhett, thank you for praying...you're special. That took guts," McEntire said. "That's what we need right now, a little more God. We've got to give this world back to God."
CMT Artists of the Year
McEntire received the award last night (Oct. 16) during the annual CMT Artists of the Year event. The 10th annual celebration, hosted at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center, was broadcast live on CMT as a 90-minute special. In addition to McEntire, five Artists of the Year honorees — Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Kane Brown, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett — were celebrated through surprise musical pairings.
It's the latest major award for McEntire, who'd already won 16 ACM awards, 15 American Music Awards, 9 People's Choice awards, 6 CMA awards, 3 Grammys, GMA Dove Awards and 2018 Kennedy Center Honors, as well as Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame memberships.
Later this fall, McEntire will co-host ABC's Nov. 13 broadcast of the CMA Awards alongside Underwood and Dolly Parton.
It's shaping up to be an eventful 2019 for McEntire beyond live broadcasts of industry events. Her Stronger Than The Truth album arrived April 5 via Big Machine Records. It teamed her with talented women and marked a return to traditional-sounding country music.
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