Kris Kristofferson will be the subject of a special tribute during next week’s 53rd annual CMA Awards — the iconic tunesmith is the recipient of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. In a musical homage to the songwriter (who will not be in attendance; he’s playing a show in Iowa that night), Dierks Bentley with Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson, and John Osborne of the duo Brothers Osborne are set to sing Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee.”
Named for an artist who in the past has recorded entire albums filled with Kristofferson’s compositions, the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award is given in recognition of an artist’s historical impact on fans and industry professionals alike. Previous recipients, along with Nelson, include Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, and most recently, Dolly Parton.
Kristofferson, whose most impactful songs also include “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” the 1970 CMA Song of the Year recorded by Johnny Cash; the Ray Price classic “For the Good Times”; and Sammi Smith’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night” also scored his own major crossover hit with the spiritually themed “Why Me.” An actor as well as a singer-songwriter, Kristofferson’s film work furthered his international profile with such films as the 1976 version of A Star Is Born. Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004.
The CMA Awards, co-hosted by Carrie Underwood with Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, November 13th, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.