Tuesday night at the Ryman Auditorium, Loretta Lynn was awarded the Kris Kristofferson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nashville Songwriter Association International (NSAI). Additional honorees will include the 2019 “Song of the Year,” “Songwriter of the Year,” “Songwriter-Artist of the Year” and NSAI’s coveted “10 Songs I Wish I’d Written,” which are chosen by Nashville’s professional songwriters.
Opening the awards ceremony was Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter, Tayla Lynn, performing “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Tayla has her own successful career as an independent singer/songwriter and continues the family legacy with a dynamite touring show in tribute to their grandparents Conway and Loretta with Conway’s grandson, Tre Twitty, was thrilled to represent her grandmother at the awards show by singing one of her most well known songs. Tayla Lynn commented, “I embrace Memaw in my career and I spend a lot of my time singing her songs. I do everything I can to carry on her legacy in a joyful, respectful, honorable way, and to make her fans proud. I am beyond honored that I was asked to stand on stage at the Ryman and honor her with her friends and colleagues as she receives the Kris Kristofferson Lifetime Achievement Award from NSAI.”
Loretta Lynn got quite a bit of female power with Kellie Pickler and Reba McEntire performing covers of her songs, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough.” Kid Rock escorted Loretta to the podium to accept her award. In receiving her award with a standing ovation, Loretta said, “Hello everybody, I’m Loretta. I want y’all to know I love you. Thank y’all for coming out.”
Loretta wasn’t the only Kentucky native to win an award. Josh Osborne from Virgie has made an impact with many country music artists reaching the top of the charts thanks to his songwriting. When he received his 2019 NSAI Songwriter of the Year Award, he recalled moving to Nashville 21 years ago. “All my co-writers, obviously no songwriter would even be up here without amazing co-writers,” Osborne recalled. I still get up every day determined to prove to you that I belong in that room. I do not take your time or talent for granted. I’m very serious about what we’re doing, and I appreciate these opportunities with all of you.”
George Strait was recognized with the NSAI President’s Keystone Award. In winning his award, Strait indicated that, “I believe songwriting is a gift from God.” In honoring George Strait, Dean Dillon performed “Here For a Good Time” and “The Chair.” Jeff Stevens and Steve Bogard performed “Carried Away” and “Carrying Your Love With Me.”
The NSAI White Hat Award was presented to Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.
The 2019 Song of the Year was “Break Up in the End,” written by Jessi Jo Dillon, Jon Nite, and Chase McGill. Luke Combs was presented with the Songwriter/Artist of the Year.
Awards were presented to the “10 Songs I Wish I’d Written” to the following songs of 2019:
Burning Man, Drowns the Whiskey, Drunk Girl, God’s Country, Meant to Be, Some of It, Tequila, Up Down, Whiskey Glasses, and Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.
Additional performances at the NSAI Awards included Jason Aldean performing “Drowns the Whiskey,” Chris Janson with “Drunk Girl,” “Burning Man” by Dierks Bentley, and Dan + Shay performing “Tequila.”
For more information on the Nashville Songwriters Association International, be sure to visit www.nashvillesongwriters.com.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.