Academy of Country Music Crafts New Honor To Remember Merle Haggard

There never has been, nor will there ever be another human being quite like Merle Haggard. The Academy of Country Music Awards were held just a few days before Haggard’s April 6 so they were never able to honor the legendary singer – until now.

With a special awards show called ACM Honors, the Academy announced Monday (Aug 22) that they crafted an award to honor the “Workin’ Man Blues” singer.

The ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award will “honor uncompromising artists in the spirit of Merle Haggard, while acknowledging a man who has figured prominently in ACM history.

Grammy-winning country group Lady Antebellum will host the 10th Annual ACM Honors, which will take place on Tuesday, August 30. It will air on CBS on Friday, September 9 at 9pm EST.

“Merle passed shortly after our 2016 awards show and after this year’s Special Awards were announced,” ACM Board President Ken Tucker said in a statement. “That said, there was simply no way the Academy could hold what may be its most heartfelt event – ACM Honors – without creating a lasting way to acknowledge his legacy. Celebrating and encouraging artists whose work echoes Merle Haggard’s indomitable spirit is beyond fitting. On behalf of the board, and with the blessing of his family, we are thrilled to create this important honor.”

What an incredible way to honor Haggard, who won the very first ACM Award for Entertainer of the Year back in 1970.

According to their website, the ACM Honors is an event dedicated to “recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the Academy of Country Music Awards, including the Special Awards, Studio Recording Awards and Songwriter of the Year Award winners.”

Watch the Merle Haggard tribute at the American Country Countdown Awards spearheaded by Toby Keith and Haggard’s son, Ben, below.