Superstar singer/songwriter Toby Keith will perform a heartfelt tribute in celebration of his friend and musical hero Merle Haggard at the 2016 AMERICAN COUNTRY COUNTDOWN AWARDS airing live from The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday, May 1 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Oscar®-winning actor Matthew McConaughey will introduce the tribute to the late legendary songwriter who inspired countless musicians and who is one of country music’s greatest icons.
Haggard’s longtime back-up band, The Strangers, will join Keith as part of this memorable performance. In addition, Haggard’s widow, Theresa, will be in attendance along with other members of the Haggard family, including son Ben, who also will perform with The Strangers.
Keith joins previously announced performers Kelsea Ballerini, 2016 NASH Icon Award recipients Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Cam, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Martina McBride, Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell and Carrie Underwood.
From his first No. 1 smash "Should've Been A Cowboy" to his new album 35 mph Town, Toby Keith has been one of the most consistent self-directed hit makers of his era. His single, "Made In America" (from the album Clancy’s Tavern) topped the charts as one of the fastest rising songs in a long line of his chart burners. The second hit, "Red Solo Cup," has become one of the most commercially successful country singles with a viral video garnering more than 30 million views while having topped the top downloaded country songs charts. The first single from 35 mph Town, "Drunk Americans," debuted at No. 1 Most Added on both the Billboard and Country Aircheck/Mediabase charts.
At the core of Keith's unparalleled success is his songwriting, with an astounding succession of hit songs to the tune of more than 87 million BMI performances on commercial radio stations worldwide. In June 2015, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, and he has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association International with its Songwriter/Artist of the Decade distinction. He is a three-time BMI Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year and was named the American Country Awards' Artist of the Decade. His albums have sold more than 40 million copies, ranking him among the top-selling all-genre artists on Billboard's Top 200 Artists of the Decade; he is also Billboard's No. 1 Country Artist of the Decade and No. 1 Country Songwriter of the Decade. His tours have drawn more than one million fans each year for the last decade. This year's tour, Interstates & Tailgates presented by Ford F-Series, kicks off in May with dates scheduled throughout North America. However Keith’s most rewarding experiences come from giving back. Whether it's helping sick children and their families in his native Oklahoma through the Toby Keith Foundation and the cost-free home OK Kids Korral, or supporting US Troops, including 11 USO Tours throughout the world, Keith has never lost touch with the most important things in life.
Matthew McConaughey will next be seen in the June 24th release of Free State of Jones, an epic action-drama set during the Civil War that tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. In 2016 he will also lend his voice to Kubo and the Two Strings and Sing as well as star in Gold, directed by Stephen Gaghan.
The AMERICAN COUNTRY COUNTDOWN AWARDS is based on country music’s longest-running radio countdown show (43 years), “American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks,” and honors country music’s biggest stars, based on album sales and radio airplay. Finalists and winners for all categories are based on radio airplay charts, sales and streaming data from April 1, 2015 to March 28, 2016 provided by BuzzAngle Music. Touring data is from Pollstar “The Concert Hotwire.”
Tickets for the AMERICAN COUNTRY COUNTDOWN AWARDS at the “Fabulous” Forum are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com.
The AMERICAN COUNTRY COUNTDOWN AWARDS is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro (CEO, dick clark productions), Mike Mahan (President, dick clark productions), Mark Bracco (Executive Vice President, Programming and Development, dick clark productions), Kix Brooks, Richard Godfrey and Tom Forrest are executive producers.
About dick clark productions
dick clark productions (dcp) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming, with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Country Countdown Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Hollywood Film Awards” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance, from 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group and dcp. dcp also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries, with more than 55 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.
About Cumulus Media
A leader in the radio broadcasting industry, Cumulus Media (NASDAQ:CMLS) combines high-quality local programming with iconic, nationally syndicated media, sports and entertainment brands to deliver premium content choices to the 245 million people reached each week through its 454 owned-and-operated stations broadcasting in 90 U.S. media markets (including eight of the top 10), more than 8,200 broadcast radio stations affiliated with its Westwood One network and numerous digital channels. Together, the Cumulus/Westwood One platforms make Cumulus Media one of the few media companies that can provide advertisers with national reach and local impact. Cumulus/Westwood One is the exclusive radio broadcast partner to some of the largest brands in sports and entertainment, including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, the Olympics, the GRAMMYs, the Country Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards and Miss America. Additionally, it is the nation's leading provider of country music and lifestyle content through its NASH brand, whi
ch serves country fans nationwide through radio programming, NASH Country Weekly magazine, concerts, licensed products and television/video. For more information, visit www.cumulus.com.