Superstar Dolly Parton will be the 2016 recipient of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented during "The 50th Annual CMA Awards," airing Wednesday, Nov. 2 (8 p.m./ET) on the ABC Television Network live from Nashville.
The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award is for an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in Country Music. The Award was established to recognize an artist who has achieved both national and international prominence and stature through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales, and public representation at the highest level. The artist receiving this Award has positively impacted and contributed to the growth of the genre throughout a course of years that have proven to have an unprecedented historical impact on fans and industry alike.
"Dolly epitomizes the very definition of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award," said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "She is a trailblazer who continues to enchant and captivate fans around the world, from her latest No. 1 album, to her sold-out tour, and numerous television projects. She is a treasure and deserving of this industry acclaim for her undeniable contributions to the success of Country Music, today."
Previous recipients of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award include Willie Nelson (2012), Kenny Rogers (2013), and Johnny Cash (2015).
Parton has received 44 CMA Awards nominations and has won nine times including Entertainer (1978) and Female Vocalist of the Year (1975, 1976). In 1996, she and Vince Gill won Musical Event of the Year for "I Will Always Love You," which is heavily featured in CMA's hugely popular "Forever Country" single and music video project celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the CMA Awards.
An internationally renowned superstar, the iconic and irrepressible Dolly Parton has contributed countless treasures to the world of entertainment. Her latest album "Pure & Simple" recently debuted at No. 1 -- her first in 25 years.
All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, paid digital downloads, and compilation usage during her illustrious career have topped a staggering 100 million records worldwide. Achieving 25 RIAA certified Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum awards, Parton has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist.
Making her film debut in the 1980 hit comedy "9 to 5," Parton earned rave reviews for her performance and an Oscar nomination for writing the title tune, along with her second and third Grammy Awards. Roles in "Steel Magnolias," "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," "Rhinestone," and "Straight Talk" followed.
Parton saw a cherished dream become a reality in 1986 with the opening of her own theme park, Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. In 1988, Dolly began the Dollywood Foundation which funds Dolly Parton's Imagination Library across America and in Canada by giving every preschool child a book each month from the time he or she is born until the child reaches kindergarten. Currently 80,000,000 books are mailed to children in the US, Canada and throughout the U.K.
In 1999, Dolly was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 2004, the U.S. Library of Congress presented her with their Living Legend Award for her contribution to the cultural heritage of the United States. In December 2015, more than 13 million viewers tuned in to "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors," which was the most-watched film on broadcast network television since May 2012.
"The 50th Annual CMA Awards" will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and broadcast live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 2 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.