Songwriter and Producer Shane McAnally Presented with CMA Chairman's Award

Songwriter and Producer Shane McAnally Presented with CMA Chairman's Award

NASHVILLE – The musical producer behind “Forever Country,” CMA Board member Shane McAnally, was presented the CMA Chairman’s Award Monday night during a dinner for CMA Board members at the Association’s new corporate offices on Music Row.

“I’m honored to present the Chairman’s Award and it is without compare that we recognize Shane McAnally,” said John Esposito, CMA Chairman of the Board and President/CEO of Warner Music Nashville. “His talent, dedication and passion for Country Music was a major force in the success of ‘Forever Country’ on a global scale, and I am proud to salute him and his contributions to the music industry with the Chairman’s Award”

“As a child growing up in Mineral Wells, Texas, the CMA Awards broadcast each year was truly a highlight – I would plan my entire year around the one night I could see all the stars perform and be recognized for their music. I’ve spent my life loving these artists, their lyrics, and stories, so being a part of the ‘Forever Country’ project while serving as a CMA Board member is something wildest dreams are made of,” shared McAnally. “To say that I’m honored to receive the Chairman’s Award from one of my heroes and greatest champions of music would be an extreme understatement. John Esposito is the heart of this community and his encouragement and leadership as the CMA Chairman makes us all want to work harder and be better for this genre and this organization.”

The Chairman’s Award is given annually at the discretion of the Chairman of the Board. At the presentation, Esposito praised McAnally’s vision and tireless efforts on behalf of Country Music and “Forever Country.”

Powered by an unprecedented gathering of Country Music talent, a never-before-seen radio roadblock, and unanimous industry support, CMA’s historic “Forever Country” vaulted to the top of multiple charts in its first week of release, an accomplishment only achieved three times in chart history (1958).

Fans around the world got their first listen Sept. 16, when CMA partner radio groups nationwide came together to premiere the single simultaneously during Friday morning drive time, and their first look on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” on Sept. 20. The response was immediate and overwhelming for the project, which has topped airplay and sales charts for the single, which was produced by McAnally, and the music video, which was directed by Joseph Kahn.

Thanks to participating artists sharing the video through their individual social channels, fans raved across social media, watching the video online more than 31 million times in the first five days and commenting across the internet in celebration of the project, which was created to drive awareness for the 50th Anniversary of the CMA Awards.

The project has also been a global phenomenon, posting on 25 international iTunes charts and 18 international Spotify charts. The song ranked at No. 1 in sales in Canada; No. 2 in Australia and New Zealand; Top 25 in Scandinavia; and Top 40 in the United Kingdom, of all music.

The historic project featured 30 CMA Award-winning acts performing a medley of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” and Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.”

McAnally is a singer, songwriter, and record producer. Originally a solo artist for Curb Records in 1999, McAnally charted three singles before turning his talents to being a songwriter and record producer. He has written and produced songs for Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Kelly Clarkson, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Jake Owen, Reba, and The Band Perry. McAnally is a frequent collaborator of Musgraves’ having co-produced both of her studio albums (Same Trailer Different Park and Pageant Material) and co-written most of the songs on them; he has also produced for Clarkson, Hunt, Old Dominion, and Owen.

In 2013, McAnally and Brandy Clark wrote the music and lyrics for a new, original Broadway musical inspired by the TV classic “Hee-Haw.” The book was written by Robert Horn and “Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical” debuted in Dallas at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in September 2015.

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