Eric Church, Willie Nelson Lead Kris Kristofferson Tribute Lineup

Songwriting icon will be saluted at March 16th event in Nashville

Kris Kristofferson's music will be saluted with an all-star concert March 16th in Nashville. Credit: Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns

Songwriting icon, actor and social activist Kris Kristofferson will be celebrated an all-star concert event on Wednesday, March 16th, at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Produced by Blackbird Presents, The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson will include performances from Dierks Bentley, Ryan Bingham, Rosanne Cash, Eric Church, Emmylou Harris, Jamey Johnson, Lady Antebellum, Willie Nelson, Darius Rucker and Trisha Yearwood. Kristofferson, who is also slated to perform, will be joined by additional artists who will be announced in the coming weeks at SongsofKrisKristofferson.com.

Related: Hear Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson's Trio

Grammy Award-winning producer Don Was will serve as music director and lead the band backing the performers for The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson, which will be filmed and recorded for future broadcast and official release.

"A major reason for Kris' enduring popularity is that he's always been very honest and open about revealing his inner life," says Was, who has worked with the singer-songwriter for more than 20 years. "In doing that he has created an incredible body of work that has resonated for decades with millions of listeners. It's always a deeply moving experience to sing and play his songs."                                                

Born in Texas into a military family that moved frequently, Kristofferson graduated high school in California and earned a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University, where he was a boxing champ and began writing songs. Pressured by his family to join the military, Kristofferson became a helicopter pilot and was stationed in West Germany. Later, he moved to Nashville, emptying ashtrays and sweeping up at the CBS recording studios. He would famously land a helicopter in the Cash family's yard to get Johnny's attention, although the Man in Black wasn't actually home at the time. Hit songs cut by Ray Price ("For the Good Times"), Janis Joplin ("Me and Bobby McGee") and Kristofferson himself ("Why Me?") followed, as did a Best Actor Golden Globe for his role opposite Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born. In 2013, he released Feeling Mortal, his 21st studio LP.

Tickets for The Life and Songs of Kris Kristofferson go on sale at 10 a.m. CT Saturday, January 23rd. Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets through Citi's Private Pass Program beginning Friday, Jan. 22nd at 10am CT.