The Academy of Country Music will present Garth Brooks with its Crystal Milestone Award during the 43rd Annual ACM Awards on Sunday, May 18.
Brooks, the first artist to receive the honor, will also perform a medley of his greatest hits during the CBS telecast, airing live from Las Vegas’s MGM Grand. The Crystal Milestone Award commemorates a specific, remarkable achievement such as Brooks’ recent certification as the top-selling solo artist in U.S. history.
Other ACM award winners who will be honored off-camera include Bill Anderson and the late Fred Rose receiving the first-ever Poet’s Award for musical and/or lyrical contributions, Gerry House & The House Foundation from WSIX-FM being honored as On-Air Personality of the Year — Major Market, and longtime ACM Awards show producer Dick Clark.
Brenda Lee, The Oak Ridge Boys, Conway Twitty and Porter Wagoner will be honored with the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award for paving the way in the country music genre.
Gaming proves stiff
competition for music
The role of video games as a competitor for consumer dollars became more pronounced with the recent release of Grand Theft Auto IV. The urban action game from Take-Two Interactive Software scanned over six million copies — $500 million — in first week sales. Analysts were predicting sales of about $400 million.
The previous video game sales record holder was Microsoft’s Halo 3, which did $300 million in its first week during September 2007.
CMA plans celebrity close-up
series as part of music festival
The CMA Celebrity Close Up Series presented by GAC will return to CMA Music Festival for a sixth consecutive year. The session, taking place Thursday, June 5 from 1:30-3 p.m. at the Ryman Auditorium, will spotlight multi-Platinum artists Gretchen Wilson, Randy Travis and Taylor Swift in separate segments.
The artists will answer fan questions in a forum moderated by television personality Lorianne Crook. All three artists received the CMA Horizon Award early in their career, recognizing their strong impact on the national musical scene when they debuted. GAC will tape the session for future television broadcast.
The series is ticketed separately from the Music Festival. Tickets, $12, are available by calling 1-800-CMA-FEST, at www.ticketmaster.com  or the Ryman Auditorium box office.
CMT’s ‘Gone Country’
returning with second season
CMT’s highest rated series ever, Gone Country, will return in August for a second season hosted by John Rich. It shows seven celebrities from all areas of entertainment competing to release a single to country radio.
Gretchen gets her GED
Gretchen Wilson, a ninth-grade dropout, recently passed her General Education Development exam and will graduate during a May 15 ceremony.