Merle Haggard to Receive Dual Tributes
All hail Merle Haggard! The country legend will be the main focus of a pair of tributes in April, with an all-star album in his honor and a special presentation during the Academy of Country Music Awards telecast, April 6, which just happens to be Merle’s birthday.
The album, Working Man’s Poet: A Tribute to Merle Haggard, will feature such current stars as Luke Bryan, Garth Brooks and Toby Keith singing some of Merle’s classics. The album is set for release April 1. On the ACM Awards show, April 6 on CBS, Merle will receive the ACM’s Crystal Milestone Award, honoring his 50 years in country music. Merle made his chart debut in December of 1963 with “Sing a Sad Song.” Previous Crystal Milestone recipients include Garth, Kenny Chesney and Taylor Swift.
Among the highlights of the Working Man’s Poet tribute album are a duet between Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley on “Pancho and Lefty” and Jason Aldean’s version of “Are the Good Times Really Over.” Physical copies of the album, which will be available only at Walmart, will include Garth’s take on Merle’s classic “The Bottle Let Me Down.”