Academy of Country Music Awards


Seeing Stars: Hollywood Award Ceremonies

held annually at the Universal Amphitheatre,
Universal City, CA. / (323) 462-2351

The Academy of Country Music had always staged its annual award show locally. Over the last 40 years, the shows have been held in a number of locations, including the Goodtime Theatre at Knott's Berry Farm; but most recently, the shows had settled in at the Universal Amphitheatre, at Universal Studios Hollywood.

But unfortunately (for fans in Southern California) in 2003, they decided to move the show to Las Vegas, Nevada. And they will have stayed in Vegas ever since. The 2005 award show was held on Tuesday, May 17, 2005.

That's a loss for L.A. As you might expect, the biggest names in country & western music show up in person to pick up their awards at this "Party of the Year" for 6,000.

The winners for 2005 were:

    Entertainer: Kenny Chesney

    Male Vocalist: Keith Urban

    Female Vocalist: Gretchen Wilson

    New Artist: Gretchen Wilson

    Vocal Group: Rascal Flatts

    Vocal Duo: Brooks & Dunn

    Single:"Live Like You Were Dying," Tim McGraw

    Song: "Live Like You Were Dying," Tim McGraw, writers Craig Wiseman and Tim Nichol

    Album: Be Here, Keith Urban

    Video: "Whiskey Lullaby," Brad Paisley [featuring Alison Krauss]

    Humanitarian: Neal McCoy

    Pioneer: Chris LeDoux

In 2002, when the awards were last in L.A., the awards show were held at the Universal Amphitheatre and tickets available to the public via TicketMaster (, at a price ranging from $69 - $304 per ticket (most in the $75 range). [Tickets went on sale March 14, and there were usually good seats available through late March.]

With the show now in Vegas, I no longer see tickets available on Ticketmaster...

Top 2002 winners included Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Lonestar, Martina McBride, Trick Pony, Phil Vassar, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and the Soggy Bottom Boys. The show was hosted by Reba McEntire. Performers included include George Strait, Willie Nelson and Lee Ann Womack.

The big winners at the 2001 show were Toby Keith, Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks, Brooks & Dunn, Lee Ann Womack,  Keith Urban, Jamie O'Neal & Rascal Flatts. The Pioneer Award went to Barbara Mandrell, while Kenny Rogers was presented with the Career Achievement Award.

2001 presenters and performers included LeAnn Rimes, Alan Jackson, SHeDAISY, Dwight Yoakam, and Billy Gilman.

Last year(in 2000), the winners also included Tim McGraw, Clint Black, Lonestar,  Brad Paisley, Jessica Andrews & Montgomery Gentry. The Pioneer Award went posthumously to Tammy Wynette, while 2000 presenters and performers included Dolly Parton, George Jones, George Strait, Asleep at the Wheel, Patty Loveless, Martina McBride and Naomi & Wynonna Judd.

The 1999 winners, presenters and performers also included Garth Brooks (who was named artist of the decade), Shania Twain, Mark Wills, Jo Dee Messina, Steve Wariner, Glen Campbell. Patti Page, Jane Seymour, John Schneider, Lee Horsley, Chet Atkins, Chuck Norris, Tracy Byrd, Billy Ray Cyrus, LeAnn Rimes, Toby Keith, Charlie Daniels, Bryan White and Kenny Chesney.

In 1998, "hat" winners also included George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack and The Kinleys. Performers in 1998 included Reba McEntire, Alabama, Steve Wariner, Patty Loveless, Deana Carter, Glen Campbell, Donna Fargo, Buck Owens, Randy Travis, Bryan White, Dwight Yoakum, Sawyer Brown, Marty Stuart, Martina McBride and Travis Tritt, plus a host of celebrity presenters such as Barbara Mandrell, and actor Patrick Swayze.

Other country stars and presenters on hand for the 1997 and 1998 awards shows included Vince Gill, Roy Clark, Hank Williams, Jr., Alan Jackson, Lisa Hartman Black, Ricochet, Collin Raye, Olivia Newton-John, Miss America, Mindy McCready, Tracy LawrenceDoug Supernaw, Blackhawk, Jeff Foxworthy, Alan Jackson, Lonestar, Mavericks, Sawyer Brown, Trace Adkins, James Bonamy, Kevin Sharp, Ashley Judd,and Jay Leno.

Since 1979, the awards show, handled by Dick Clark Productions, has aired on the NBC network, usually in early late April or early May. This year, however, the telecast switched to CBS.

Phone ahead to be sure of the time of next year's event. Tickets are usually available through TicketMaster, at (213) 252-TIXS.

 Getting there: The amphitheatre is located right next door to the main entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood. From Hollywood, take the Hollywood (101) Freeway through the pass, to the Lankershim Boulevard exit;  turn right on Lankershim, then turn right again on Universal Terrace Parkway and follow it up to the parking lot. Follow CityWalk to the main gate of Universal Studios.  

[For more information on this subject, you can access the official Academy of Country Music website at:]

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