Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award

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The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, instituted in 2012 during the 46th CMA Awards, is given by the Country Music Association. The presentation of the award is intended to "honor an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in Country Music (that) achieved both national and international prominence and stature through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales, and public representation at the highest level", with the condition that the recipient "must have positively impacted and contributed to the growth of the genre over time".[1]

The award, first presented to Willie Nelson, and named after him, was designed by Chicago manufacturer R.S. Owens & Company. The trophy was built resembling the "bullet shape" of a regular CMA award, formed by two aluminum struts that support a bronze medallion on top, with the entire structure attached to a walnut base.[2]


Indicates a posthumous nomination Indicates a posthumous award

Year Recipients Achievements Tribute Performance
Willie Nelson at Farm Aid 2009 - Cropped.jpg
Willie Nelson
KennyRogers (cropped).jpg
Kenny Rogers
Johnny Cash 1977.jpg
Johnny CashIndicates a posthumous nomination N/A
Dolly Parton (6330150579).jpg
Dolly Parton
Kris Kristofferson (ZMF 2017) jm34701.jpg
Kris Kristofferson[a]
Charley Pride 11-26-16 IMG 5568 (30464414454).jpg
Charley Pride

^ a. Kristofferon was not in attendance when he received the award as he had a show scheduled on the same night.



  1. ^ "Kenny Rogers Presented With the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award". CMA World. Country Music Association. November 8, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  2. ^ Green, Cassie (November 12, 2013). "R.S. Owens Completes Willie Nelson's CMA Lifetime Achievement Award". A&E magazine. NBM, Inc. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  3. ^ Stephen L. Betts (2016-10-04). "Dolly Parton to Receive CMA Lifetime Achievement Award". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  4. ^ Stephen L. Betts (2019-11-05). "2019 CMA Awards: Kris Kristofferson to Get Lifetime Achievement Award". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  5. ^ Melinda Newman. "Charley Pride to Receive CMA Awards' 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award – Billboard". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2021-11-26.