The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Performers will present its esteemed Founders Award to Ricky Skaggs for his lifetime contributions to the music business. One such recipient has been selected by ASCAP each year since 1984, and Skaggs will receive the honor at the 54th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards at The Ryman Auditorium on October 31.
Ricky will be the first bluegrass artist so honored by the agency, a performance rights organization representing over 585,000 artists, songwriters, and publishers around the world. Previous winners include such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, George Strait, Jackson Browne, Steely Dan, Bob Dylan, and Paul McCartney.
Though few bluegrass fans need reminding, Skaggs’ career highlights include more than a dozen IBMA Awards, 14 Grammies, 9 ACM awards, 8 CMAs, 2 Dove awards, and three honorary doctorates. He has been performing full time since he was a teenager, when he and his boyhood friend Keith Whitley joined Ralph Stanley’s show in 1970. As a country artist he had 12 #1 songs, has been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and has received the Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
Not bad for a country boy from the hills of eastern Kentucky!
ASCAP President Paul Williams says that Skaggs personifies what the award was created to honor.
“For more than four decades Ricky Skaggs has been a musical force in bluegrass and country music. His incredible gifts as a musician combined with his boundless creativity and energy continue to fuel a passion for American roots music around the world. A national treasure, he has influenced generations of fellow music creators and we are honored to present him with the ASCAP Founders Award.”
The official description of the Founders Award is as follows:
The ASCAP Founders Award is our most prestigious honor and is given to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Each recipient is a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of creative genius, which will enrich generations to come.
Congratulations to Ricky Skaggs as he is set to join one of the most elite clubs in the music industry.