Busbee was posthumously named the winner of the ACM Award for producer of the year on Tuesday (Dec. 8). The announcement of this year’s eight studio recording and 10 industry award winners was made on the Academy of Country Music’s Facebook page by Riley Green and Tenille Townes, this year’s ACM winners for new male and female artist of the year, respectively.
This is Busbee’s second ACM Award; his first for producer of the year. He previously won the 2017 award for vocal event of the year for producing the Carrie Underwood/Keith Urban collab “The Fighter.” Busbee lost his fight with a form of brain cancer and died in September 2019. He was just 43.
Fiddle player Jenee Fleenor took specialty instrument(s) player of the year for the first time. Last year, she became the first female musician to be nominated in the category. Also last year, she became the first female musician to win musician of the year at the CMA Awards. She repeated in that category this year.
Here are the winners of the studio recording awards:
Bass player of the year: Jimmie Lee Sloas (third win in the category)
Drummer of the year: Miles McPherson (second win in the category)
Guitar player of the year: Rob McNelley (third win in the category)
Piano/keyboards player of the year: Gordon Mote (third win in the category)
Specialty instrument(s) player of the year: Jenee Fleenor (first win in the category)
Steel guitar player of the year: Paul Franklin (16th win in the category)
Audio engineer of the year: Justin Niebank (eighth win in the category)
Producer of the year: Busbee (first win in the category)
And here are the winners of the industry awards:
Casino of the year – theater: The Joint: Tulsa – Tulsa, Okla.
Casino of the year – arena: MGM Grand Garden Arena – Las Vegas, Nev.
Fair/rodeo of the year: Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo – Houston, Tex.
Festival of the year: Tortuga Music Festival – Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Club of the year: Joe’s Live – Rosemont, Ill.
Theater of the year: The Beacon Theatre – New York, N.Y.
Outdoor venue of the year: Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, Colo.
Arena of the year: Madison Square Garden – New York, N.Y.
Don Romeo talent buyer of the year: Gil Cunningham – Neste Live!
Promoter of the year: Brian O’Connell – Live Nation
With these awards, the Academy has finally concluded distributing its 55th annual ACM Awards. If it seems like the Academy has been doling out these awards for a very long time, well, it has. The Academy presented its radio station awards in February 2020, in what it presumed would be the run-up to the ACM Awards on April 5. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the telecast was postponed until Sept. 16.
The ACM normally dispenses its industry and studio recording awards at ACM Honors, which was originally scheduled for August 2020. That ceremony was canceled due to the pandemic.
The ACM also delayed the announcement of the winners of its studio recording and industry awards, at least in part, so as not to crowd the rival CMA Awards, which were presented on Nov. 11.
“We are thrilled to continue celebrating the 55th ACM Awards with the industry and studio recording award nominees and winners,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “Due to the pandemic, we were unable to celebrate these winners at ACM Honors…We look forward to properly honoring these deserving recipients in late summer at ACM Honors 2021.”
For more information on the ACM Awards, visit ACMcountry.com.
The Academy of Country Music Awards show was produced for television by dick clark productions, which is owned by MRC Entertainment, which also owns Billboard.