Classic Rock Legends Honored at ACMs

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This year’s Academy of Country Music Awards weren’t all country, as Nashville star and five-award nominee Eric Church honored the late classic rock stars David Bowie, The Eagles’ Glenn Frey, Mötorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister and Stone Temple Pilots’ Scott Weiland during his performance at the Sunday night (4/3) awards show. As he ended the first chorus of his single “Record Year,” Church and a DJ launched into a medley featuring sections from songs by the four recently deceased rockers, including “Changes,” “Ace of Spades,” “Vasoline,” “Suffragette City,” “Fame” and “Already Gone,” with photos of the respective artists (described in the introduction as “four of his musical heroes”) projected on a screen behind him.

Church was nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year, and earned an award for Video of the Year for “Mr. Misunderstood.” A video of his heartfelt salute is available via Billboard.

Classic rock also infiltrated the country awards when ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons made a brief appearance to perform the band’s classic “Tush” with Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert. Gibbons released his solo debut, Perfectamundo, earlier this year. ZZ Top just announced a set of 2016 tour dates with Gregg Allman.

Read Best Classic Bands contributor Nöe Gold’s review of Perfectamundo here.

It’s been a sobering 2016 for music lovers, to say the least, with deaths of so many high-profile performers. Back in February, the Grammy Awards featured nods to Bowie, Frey, Kilmister, B.B. King and others, as well, performed by the likes of Lady Gaga and supergroup The Hollywood Vampires (see our news item here.) Last Thursday and Friday (3/31 and 4/1), a variety of artists like Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Ann Wilson of Heart, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Jakob Dylan and others paid tribute to Bowie at benefit concerts held, respectively, at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall (see our report here).

Read Best Classic Bands contributor Jim Sullivan’s take on the deaths of older rock legends here.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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