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.
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.”