Grammy-winning country star Dwight Yoakam, an artist who has transcended the country music genre to become a multi-slash innovator, entrepreneur, will be the Superstar Keynote Q&A at the 3rd Annual Billboard Country Summit, set for June 4-5 at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville in a session titled "Guitars, Cadillacs, and Innovation: A Conversation About the Future with Dwight Yoakam."
The 3rd Annual Billboard Country Music Summit -- featuring in-depth artist Q&As with Luke Bryan and Willie Nelson and two days of country music business programming -- takes place June 4 and 5 in Nashville. Head here to register and get more information, and Billboard.biz readers can get a 15% discount by using promo code BIZ12
Singer/songwriter/actor/writer/director Yoakam redefined country music from his debut album in 1986, the neo-traditional honky tonk epic Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. One of the most respected singer-songwriters in any genre, Yoakam has risen from country music pioneer to legendary cross-genre recording artist. He is also one of music's "deep thinkers," and Summit attendees will have a rare opportunity to hear from Yoakam in this must-see session moderated by veteran music writer and Billboard Country Update editor Tom Roland.
Yoakam has sold more than 25 million albums, and has charted more than 30 singles, with 22 going Top 20. He is set to release his first studio album in seven years on Warner Bros. Records this fall. Beyond the music genre, Yoakam is a critically-acclaimed actor, with star turns in such successful films as Sling Blade, Panic Room, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, and Four Christmas, and Yoakam co-wrote, starred in, produced and wrote the soundtrack for South of Heaven, West of Hell.
"Because he lives and works in California, Dwight's perspective on country and its place in the entertainment world is completely different than the view from Nashville," Roland says. "He's a creative force, and it's likely that everyone in the room will be challenged to reconsider something they took for granted."
Co-presented by the Country Music Assn., the Billboard Country Music Summit brings multiple parts of the country business together for a gut check about the changing dynamics in such facets as radio, publishing, technology and artist development. Luke Bryan, Willie Nelson, Shooter Jennings and Thompson Square have been previously announced as participants. Additional panelists will be announced in the coming weeks.