At Sunday’s 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, tribute was paid to Dick Clark, longtime producer of the ACMs. Clark died April 18, 2012, and nearly a year later, Reba McEntire grew emotional as she announced the Academy’s plan to rename their Artist of the Decade Award to the Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award.
Clark’s son, R.A. Clark, personally reached out to two previous winners of the award, George Strait and Garth Brooks, to perform in honor of his father. “I personally reached out with handwritten notes to both guys. I’ve
been thinking about this over the last year since my father passed away
and said ‘Who better to honor my father than these two guys who are the
reigning artists of the decade?'” said R.A. Clark said in a press call.
Brooks and Strait, both Country Music Hall-of-Famers, teamed up for the first time for the tribute. They sang “The Dance” and “The Cowboy Rides Away” and received a standing ovation.