FILE – This April 7, 2013 file photo shows George Strait performing at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Strait was awarded the Founder’s Award at the ASCAP Country Awards on Monday night, Nov. 4, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — George Strait’s trophy closet keeps getting more crowded. This time it was the performing rights organization ASCAP doing the honoring, giving Strait its Founder’s Award.
Strait was honored Monday night in a star-studded celebration that included Garth Brooks, Lee Ann Womack and Alan Jackson singing tributes, and a rare session with reporters. The Founder’s Award is given to songwriters and composers who have made “pioneering” contributions to music that have inspired others. Previous winners include Brooks and Jackson, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.
“I was very honored to get that call,” Strait said. “Throughout your career you really don’t think about anything like this happening to you, and getting an award like this, when you look at the list of names of the people that have gotten this award, it’s pretty impressive. Knowing my name will be on the list with all those people is really a rewarding thing and an honor for me.”
Brooks performed a medley of Strait’s hits “Unwound,” ”Amarillo by Morning” and “The Fireman” during the ASCAP Country Awards. Womack sang “Troubadour” and Jackson performed “Let’s Fall to Pieces Together.”
Strait announced last year he’s ending his touring career with his current The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, which will conclude next summer in Dallas. It’s a high-visibility week for the usually reclusive singer. He’ll be performing a tribute to George Jones with Jackson on Wednesday night’s Country Music Association Awards, where he’s up for entertainer of the year.