Rhett Akins Receives Inaugural ACM Songwriter of the Decade Award

Rhett Akins is the ACM Songwriter of the Decade. Akins was surprised with the award backstage during Thomas Rhett’s Very…


Lauren Jo Black

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September 17, 2019


3:20 pm

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Rhett Akins; Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ACM

Rhett Akins is the ACM Songwriter of the Decade.

Akins was surprised with the award backstage during Thomas Rhett’s Very Hot Summer Tour at the United Center in Chicago, IL. He’s the first-ever recipient of the newly created award, which is one of seven new decade awards recently announced by the Academy of Country Music.

According to a press release, the ACM Songwriter of the Decade “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 has written a slew of hits for artists such as Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett, Dustin Lynch and Jason Aldean. He also earned a few hits on his on as a solo artist and received his first-ever ACM nomination in 1997 for ACM Top New Male Vocalist category.

“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!” Ed Warm, Academy of Country Music Chairman, said.

Previously announced ACM decade awards include ACM Song of the Decade, which was awarded to Miranda Lambert and songwriters Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin for “The House That Built Me,” and ACM Artist of the Decade, which was awarded to Jason Aldean earlier this year.

Winners in the remaining categories will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.