CMA PROUDLY WELCOMES BACK THE TOURING COMMUNITY FOR A CELEBRATORY EVENING AT THE 2022 CMA TOURING AWARDS
Sixteen of Country Music’s Top Touring Professionals Honored for Achieving Excellence, Including CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient John Huie
CMA, the premier trade organization supporting professionals within the Country Music industry, presented industry honors at the 2022 CMA Touring Awards last night at Marathon Music Works in Nashville. Hosted by Keith Urban, the evening marked the grand return of the CMA Touring Awards, having been postponed for two years due to the pandemic. With the touring sector accounting for the second largest category of membership within CMA, the evening was full of celebratory reconnections all while honoring 16 of Country Music’s top touring professionals.
John Huie, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Music Nashville Co-Head, was also honored with the CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement Award. Rod Essig, CAA Music Nashville Co-Head, presented Huie with the night’s highest honor, an award given to an individual who has positively impacted and contributed to the growth of touring throughout the years. It honors an individual that has proven to have an unprecedented historical impact on Country Music fans and the industry alike, and whose presence will have a long-term positive impact on Country Music and CMA for generations to come.
Prior to Huie accepting his award, a video montage played with interviews and congratulatory messages from artists and industry executives who have worked closely with Huie and whose careers have been impacted by his work. Zac Brown, Essig, Amy Grant, Joan Jett, Lady A, Rob Light, Ron Sakamoto and Michael W. Smith all spoke about Huie’s larger-than-life personality, hard work, dedication and support for his artists and peers.
Additionally, during the ceremony, Urban took time to honor his longtime production manager, Randy “Baja” Fletcher, who passed away while on the road in 2021. Natalie Fletcher, daughter of Randy Fletcher, took the stage during the program to talk about her father’s legacy as well as her own experience on the road with Urban this past year. Echoing an underlying theme from all the Touring Award recipients was Fletcher’s immense gratitude to be back on the road again and for each part of the “road family” that work tirelessly to make life on the road run smoothly.
Winners in 15 categories were determined by CMA members in the following categories: Advertising/Public Relations/Media; Affiliated; Artist; Entertainment Services; Marketing/Digital; Musician; Personal Manager; Record Label; Talent Agent; Talent Buyer/Promoter; Touring; and Venue. All balloting is tabulated by the professional services organization, Deloitte.
The 2022 CMA Touring Awards winners are as follows:
CATEGORY 1 – BUSINESS MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Stephanie Mundy Self (Farris, Self & Moore, LLC)
CATEGORY 2 – COACH/TRUCK DRIVER OF THE YEAR
John Stalder (Kenny Chesney)
CATEGORY 3 – FRONT OF HOUSE (FOH) ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
Robert Scovill (Kenny Chesney)
CATEGORY 4 – LIGHTING DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Chris Reade (Dierks Bentley)
CATEGORY 5 – MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Chris Kappy (Make Wake Artists)
CATEGORY 6 – TOUR MANAGER OF THE YEAR
David Farmer (Kenny Chesney)
CATEGORY 7 – MONITOR ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
Michael Zuehsow (Luke Combs)
CATEGORY 8 – PRODUCTION MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Jerry Slone (Luke Combs)
CATEGORY 9 – PUBLICIST OF THE YEAR
Ebie McFarland (Essential Broadcast Media)
CATEGORY 10 – TALENT AGENT OF THE YEAR
Austin Neal (The Neal Agency)
CATEGORY 11 – TALENT BUYER/PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
Brian O’Connell (Live Nation Nashville)
CATEGORY 12 – TOUR VIDEOGRAPHER/PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Jill Trunnell (Kenny Chesney)
CATEGORY 13 – TOUR VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Tyler Hutcheson (Luke Combs)
CATEGORY 14 – TOURING MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
Dan Hochhalter (Dierks Bentley)
CATEGORY 15 – VENUE OF THE YEAR
Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN)
About the CMA Touring Awards
The CMA Touring Awards, originally called the SRO Awards, were created by the CMA Board of Directors in 1990 to honor outstanding professional achievement within the touring industry. The first Awards were presented at a black-tie gala hosted by K.T. Oslin and Roger Miller during CMA’s Entertainment Expo, also known as the Talent Buyers Entertainment Marketplace. Ten Awards were presented at the first gala and the number swelled to 19 over the years before settling at the current 15. The SRO Awards were renamed the CMA Touring Awards in 2016.