Jeannie Seely Recognized for Unwavering Commitment, Outstanding Leadership with the Prestigious Joe Talbot Award by CMA
56-year Grand Ole Opry member and well-loved air personality on Sirius XM’s Willies Roadhouse, Jeannie Seely, renowned for her unwavering commitment, outstanding leadership and the preservation and advancement contributions to Country music’s values and tradition has been awarded the prestigious Joe Talbot Award. The special award was presented by Country Music Association Board of Directors President Kella Farris, who surprised Seely on the Grand Ole Opry stage following her set on Saturday evening.
The Joe Talbot Award was created in 2001 and bestowed posthumously to its namesake, Joe Talbot, a lifetime member of the CMA Board of Directors, who passed away in 2000. The award was first presented in 2001 with Jeannie Seely being the 12th person honored since its inception. Prior recipients include Ken Burns, Dayton Duncan, Charlie Monk, Janette Carter, Kitty Moon Emery, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Louise Scruggs, Marty Stuart and Joe Talbot.
“How wonderful to be honored for doing what you love to do and love to share with others! My surprise was obvious since I am rarely at a loss for words, but this caught me totally speechless!” exclaimed Jeannie Seely. “While Country music will always, and must always evolve, we must always remember the Grand Ole Opry is the cornerstone our industry was built on with music that represented the people. I sincerely appreciate CMA and the folks who recognized how much I care, and I’m proud to be in such great company! Thank you!”
Vice President and Executive Producer of the Grand Ole Opry Dan Rogers stated, “All of us at the Opry are thankful for the opportunity to be the stage on which CMA made its surprise presentation to Jeannie Seely, and of course, we are thrilled with the latest accolade received by the artist who has played that stage more than anyone else in the show’s history.”
“I’m so glad I could be at the Opry this past Saturday night to see my buddy, Jeannie Seely, win the Joe Talbot Award. Joe, with whom I served on the CMA Board of Directors for many years, was a dear friend and all about “keeping it country.” If anybody has done that over the years….and done it with style and grace and class, it’s been Jeannie. She is a great ambassador for Joe Talbot’s philosophy, and nobody could deserve his award any more than her.” shared Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry Member, Bill Anderson
“Jeannie is the exemplary example of a performer, vocalist and songwriter that defines excellence as well as a music leader and advocate for the industry,” commented Country Music Hall of Fame member Eddie Bayers. “I feel this deserved award from the CMA might be the precursor to her finally going into the Country Music Hall of Fame.”
As a long-time mentor for many female artists in the genre, Seely’s influence on the format has been undeniable. She took to the stage during the inaugural Fan Fair in 1972 and has remained a devoted supporter and advocate for Country Music. Seely was recognized last month for having the most performances in the Grand Ole Opry’s 97-year history with over 5,000 shows. Her influence extends globally as she continues to engage Country Music enthusiasts worldwide. Since 2018, she has hosted her own weekly program, “Sunday with Seely,” on SiriusXM’s Willie’s Roadhouse channel, known for its dedication to traditional Country Music. Seely continuously strives to positively represent Country Music and promote its traditions to generations of fans.
About the Country Music Association
Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association is the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize artists and industry professionals with Country Music’s highest honor. Music industry professionals and companies across the U.S. and around the globe are members of CMA. The organization serves as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advances the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA’s core initiatives: the CMA Awards, which annually recognize outstanding achievement in the industry; CMA Fest, which benefits the CMA Foundation and music education and is taped for a three-hour network television special, “CMA Fest”; and “CMA Country Christmas.” All of CMA’s television properties air on ABC.
About Jeannie Seely
Jeannie Seely’s deep, moving vocals earned her the nickname of “Miss Country Soul,” a title that’s still used today. An esteemed singer, songwriter, producer, actress, author and on-air personality, Seely added another title, “Doctor,” to her resume when she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts from Lincoln Memorial University in 2019. The third female country artist to win a GRAMMY® and the oldest female Grammy-winning artist who is still living. She is among a select group of country artists who have scored No. 1 hits as a solo artist, duet partner and songwriter. On September 16, 1967, Seely fulfilled her lifelong dream of joining the Grand Ole Opry®, becoming the first Pennsylvania native to do so. Nearly 56 years later, Seely makes clear that it’s still a thrill and an honor each time she performs on the world-famous stage, which she has performed over 5300 times. From her 1966 Top 10 Billboard album, The Seely Style, which featured “Don’t Touch Me,” to her self-produced album, Written in Song, consisting entirely of songs she’s written and recorded for more than 10 Country Music Hall of Fame® members, Seely’s recordings have spanned seven decades. Seely first appeared on the Billboard charts in 1966, continued to score entries for 13 consecutive years on various Billboard charts, and as recently as 2022, has had a presence on the MusicRow charts. Seely also garnered a No. 1 on the Record World Country Singles chart in 1971 and a No. 1 on the Bluegrass Today chart in 2019. In his 2003 book, Finding Her Voice: The Saga of Women in Country Music, music critic Robert K. Oermann wrote, “With her chin-out, tough/tender, heart-of-gold manner, Jeannie Seely remains one of Country’s most completely modern female personalities,” and that statement still holds true. With a strong social media following and over four million views on her YouTube channel, Seely continues expanding her international presence as music sales and fans’ messages pour in. She appeared in Willie Nelson’s movie Honeysuckle Rose and sang on the film’s RIAA® platinum-certified soundtrack, and for the past four years, Seely has hosted her own show, Sundays with Seely, on SiriusXM’s Willie’s Roadhouse. She also served as a disc jockey on her own Armed Forces Network Show, which launched after her tour abroad for the troops. She continues to receive letters of appreciation from American soldiers for her support. She is also a fierce advocate for musicians’ rights and takes much pride in her involvement and support for the cause. Nelson, along with Rhonda Vincent, Bill Anderson, Lorrie Morgan, Ray Stevens and many more of her friends, joined Seely for her most recent recording project on Curb Records, An American Classic, which has seen rave reviews and three radio releases. Most recently, Seely recently won the Song of the Year Award at the Arkansas Country Music Awards and was honored with the Mississippi Career Achievement Award at the Mississippi Music Awards. Keep up with all things Jeannie Seely at www.jeannieseely.com.
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