ACM Awards / Artists / Award Shows

Rhett Akins Announced as First-Ever Recipient for ACM Songwriter of the Decade Award

Rhett Akins
Photo Credit: Alex Justice

The Academy of Country Music has announced the ACM Songwriter of the Decade Award recipient Rhett Akins, who was awarded in a surprise backstage presentation recently during Thomas Rhett’s VERY HOT SUMMER TOUR stop at the United Center in Chicago, IL. Akins joins as the second recipient of the seven all-new ACM Decade Award categories, including most recently announced ACM Song of the Decade Award, awarded to Miranda Lambert and songwriters Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, for “The House That Built Me.” 

The ACM Songwriter of the Decade Award recognizes a songwriter whose creative works have impacted country music over the decade. The factors to be considered are, but not limited to success of body of work at radio, commercial media, sales and streaming, creative integrity, artistic merit and ACM Award recognition. Akins won ACM Songwriter of the Year Award in 2017 and was nominated in the same category in 2011 and 2013. Additionally, Akins received his first-ever ACM nomination in 1997 for ACM Top New Male Vocalist category. Akins has written many chart toppers for a number of big names in country music, he currently has had 30 No.1 singles, 36 BMI Awards and 24 years of hits.

The ACM Decade Awards were ratified by the ACM Board of Directors, following a stringent examination by more than 20 Board members and the ACM Special Awards Committee co-chaired by Chuck Aly and Kelly Rich – from the full spectrum of creative and commercial aspects of the genre – of the most influential projects over the past decade of country music. Like the ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade honor recognizing Jason Aldean in April, these awards will be presented only every ten years. Recipients of the remaining categories – including ACM Album of the Decade Award, ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Decade Award, ACM Breakout Artist of the Decade Award, ACM Single of the Decade Award and ACM Music Event of the Decade – will be announced in the coming weeks. 

“With 30 No. 1 hits, 36 BMI Awards, and at least one No.1 in each year of this decade, we are proud to present the ACM Songwriter of the Decade Award to Rhett Akins!” said Ed Warm, Academy of Country Music Chairman.

As previously announced during the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards, the ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award was presented to Jason Aldean.  The 14-time ACM Award® winner has dominated country music over the decade, through success at radio, digital media, sales and streaming, distinguishing events, touring, television appearances, and artistic merit. He joins only five other honorees that have received the Artist of the Decade Award, which include Marty Robbins in 1969, Loretta Lynn in 1979, Alabama in 1988, Garth Brooks in 1998 and George Strait in 2008. This Award was renamed the ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award after Clark passed away in 2012, in recognition of his many years as the ACM Awards producer and early host.

For more information on the ACM Awards and all ACM events, visit You can like Academy of Country Music on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @ACMawards and Instagram @ACMAwards for more immediate updates

Photo L-R: Ed Warm, Academy of Country Music Chairman; RAC Clark, ACM Interim Executive Director; Sonya Akins; Rhett Akins; Lauren Akins; Willa Gray Akins; Ada James Akins; Thomas Rhett

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