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NSAI will be closed on Monday, February 17 in observance of Presidents' Day. Regular business hours will resume Tuesday, February 18 at 10:00 a.m.

George Strait to be Honored with the President’s Keystone Award

Tickets On Sale Friday, July 19, 2019 at 10AM CT

Nashville, Tennessee (July 16, 2019) – The Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI) has announced several performers set to take part in the 2nd Annual Nashville Songwriter Awards, presented by NSAI and City National Bank.

Reba McEntire, Sam Hunt, Dierks Bentley, Chris Janson, Lee Brice, David Lee Murphy, Michael Ray, and Dean Dillon, among many others, will be participating to celebrate and shine the spotlight on those who make music possible, the songwriters! The 2nd Annual Nashville Songwriter Awards, presented by NSAI and City National Bank, will take place on September 17, 2019 at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, July 19, at 10AM CT and can be purchased at

NSAI has also revealed that the “King of Country Music,” George Strait was selected to receive the 2019 President’s Keystone Award. An award given out by the current NSAI President, Steve Bogard, Strait was chosen in recognition of his contributions towards the betterment of all songwriters.

"George Strait is the perfect recipient of the NSAI President’s Keystone Award.  The Keystone is the 'central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together'," says NSAI President Steve Bogard. "His delivery of a great melody and that perfect phrasing that communicates the emotion in a lyric is the ultimate last step in bringing so many incredible records to his fans. We’re honored he’ll be with us."

Previously announced honorees of the evening include Loretta Lynn, who will receive the Kris Kristofferson Lifetime Achievement Award, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) who will be honored with the White Hat Award, and the peer-voted 2019 "Song of the Year," "Songwriter of the Year," "Songwriter-Artist of the Year," and the "10 Songs I Wish I'd Written" awards, all of which will be revealed the night of the awards.

Official 2019 Nashville Songwriter Awards Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor City National Bank, Academy of Country Music, SoundExchange, Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation (NCVC), Loeb & Loeb, Jack Daniel’s, and other supporting sponsors.
For more information, please visit

About Chris Janson
Who is Chris Janson? He’s a “live legacy in the making” (Rolling Stone). Breakout country star Janson is a platinum-selling recording artist, high-octane entertainer, multi-instrumentalist, and award-winning singer/songwriter. In the four years since the release of his debut album, the three-time CMA nominee has collected prestigious accolades that place him amongst country music greats, including two No. 1 singles. He most recently took home the trophy for ACM Video of the Year for his Gold-certified, inspiring hit song “Drunk Girl,” which also earned the Song of the Year title at the 2018 MusicRow Awards. His chart-topping, double-Platinum smash “Buy Me A Boat” was named the iHeartRadio Music Awards Country Song of the Year and declared one of the “Ten Songs I Wish I’d Written” by NSAI. Now its onto new music for Janson: “Good Vibes,” the flagship single from his forthcoming album due this fall, is approaching Top 20 at country radio. In addition to his own successes, the talented songwriter has lent his pen to his industry peers. Tim McGraw (“Truck Yeah,” “How I’ll Always Be”), LOCASH (“I Love This Life”) and the legendary Hank Williams Jr. (“God Fearin’ Man,” “Those Days Are Gone”) are among those who have taken his songs to great heights.

About David Lee Murphy

David Lee Murphy is a million-selling singer-songwriter, whose hits “Dust on the Bottle” and “Party Crowd” continue to be staples at country radio. In addition to his many successful songs as an artist, Murphy has written hit singles for other artists like Kenny Chesney (“'Til It’s Gone,” “Living in Fast Forward,” “Live a Little”), Jason Aldean (“Big Green Tractor,” “The Only Way I Know”), Thompson Square (GRAMMY-nominated “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”), Jake Owen (“Anywhere With You”), Kip Moore (“Last Shot”) and Blake Shelton (“The More I Drink”) to name a few. Murphy’s most recent album No Zip Code spawned the #1 single “Everything Gonna Be Alright”, a duet with Kenny Chesney, that captured a CMA Musical Event of the Year Award. In 2018 Murphy was a surprise guest on Kenny Chesney's “Trip Around The Sun” U.S. stadium tour performing "Dust On The Bottle", "Party Crowd" and "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" with Chesney.  He recently completed a two-month stint as the special guest artist on Kenny Chesney's 2019 “Songs For The Saints” U.S. arena tour.  Currently Murphy and his band are in the midst of a whirlwind touring schedule throughout the U.S. and Canada.  For tour dates and more information about David Lee Murphy visit his website


About Dean Dillon
Iconic songwriter Dean Dillon started his career in Nashville after hitchhiking to Music City in the early 70's. After signing his first publishing deal with Nashville producer and publisher Tom Collins, in less than three weeks, Barbara Mandrell had recorded three of Dillon's songs and then in 1979 Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius released their #1 hit "Lying Here In Love With You," co-written by Dillon and tunesmith Gary Harrison, earning them both their first #1 hit record. Although Dillon's songwriting career was taking off,  his interest in being a recording artist led him to sign a deal with RCA Records, and he released 12 singles between 1979 and 1981, three of which rose to the Top 30 on the country charts. Between 1979 and 1983, as an artist, Dillon charted eight times and broke the Top 30 with "I'm Into The Bottle (To Get You Out Of My Mind)," and he also wrote hits for other country stars like the 1983 George Jones #1 hit "Tennessee Whiskey". These successes established Dillon as a performer and a songwriter. Ultimately, Dillon fully shifted focus back to songwriting and co-wrote a number of hits over the next five years, with George Strait taking five of his songs to the charts between 1981 and 1988.

Fast forward to now and Dillon is a 2002 inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, has composed or co-written 55 songs for Strait including 11 number one singles and he has also written songs for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, and Lee Ann Womack. At his ranch home in Gunnison, Colorado,  Dillon's walls display an array of timely photographs and awards consisting of: 1985 Billboard Country Music Artist Of The Year Award; 1986 Nashville Songwriters Award; 1995,1996,1998 CMA Triple Play Award; three Grammy nominations; Lee Iacocca Award (American Automotive Division); 26 number one records; and the coveted 2013 BMI Icon Award.

About Dierks Bentley
Pegged as “one of Country music’s most enviable brands, equal parts affability and authenticity” (Forbes), Bentley continues to be a dominant voice for the genre with over 6.4 billion overall digital streams. The “ultra-personal material” (Rolling Stone) behind his current single “Living” follows Bentley’s 18th career No. One and ACM award-winning hit “Burning Man,” as he continues to reveal ambitious, complex sounds with lyrics inspired by his own personal journey through the writing and the recording of THE MOUNTAIN. Reaching a new creative high while “making music designed to challenge” (New York Times), Bentley co-wrote 10 of 13 tracks on THE MOUNTAIN, which earned him the highest debut sales of his career and became his seventh chart-topping album. Bentley has amassed countless nominations from the ACMs, CMAs, Billboard Music Awards and more while also earning 14 GRAMMY  nominations. “Fans get an all-night sing-along party” (Fresno Bee) on Bentley’s current 2019 BURNING MAN TOUR featuring special guests Jon Pardi, Tenille Townes and the Hot Country Knights with upcoming stops this week in Jacksonville, FL (7/18), West Palm Beach, FL (7/19) and Tampa, FL (7/20).For more information visit

About George Strait
George Strait is the unambiguous King of Country Music, having sold more than 68.5 million records and counting. With 33 different platinum or multi-platinum albums, he’s earned the second most certifications of any artist in any genre, following only Elvis Presley. With a total of 60, George Strait has more No. 1 songs than any other artist in history (including Elvis). In Oct. 2011, Strait celebrated his first No. 1 as a songwriter with the debut single from his album of the same name “Here For A Good Time”– he wrote the song with his son Bubba (also his first No. 1 as a songwriter) and legendary songwriter Dean Dillon.

With the songwriter spark ignited, Strait co-wrote three songs for his 40th studio album, Love Is Everything, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard Country Albums Chart in May 2013 and features the Strait co-penned, “I Believe,” and his 60th No. 1, “Give It All We’ve Got Tonight” on label home of more than 30 years, MCA Nashville.

Throughout his career, George Strait has received more than 60 major entertainment industry awards and countless nominations. He is a three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year and has been a nominee in the prestigious category 19 times, as well as a nominee for the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year 25 times. He is also the most nominated artist in CMA history with 89 Country Music Association nominations. He was the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year five times and the only artist in history to be so honored in two different decades in the category. He has won the prestigious CMA Album of the Year five times and Entertainer of the Year three times both across three different decades proving he continues to make great music.

About Lee Brice
When Lee Brice isn't selling out arenas, writing and recording songs, or building new brands like American Born whiskey, you'll find the family man with his wife Sara, two young boys, and baby daughter. Meanwhile, with more than 13 million in RIAA-certified sales and streams, and well over 2.7 billion spins on Pandora, Brice continues to enjoy massive success at country radio, digital streaming services, and on the road. One of the most-played country artists of all time on Pandora, he was inducted into the company's "Billionaires Club" on June 8, 2018, becoming only the second country artist behind Keith Urban to receive the Pandora Billionaire plaque.

Lee is also a GRAMMY nominee, a CMA nominee and a double ACM award winner, and he's taken six radio singles to Number One:  “Rumor,” "A Woman Like You," "Hard To Love," "I Drive Your Truck," "I Don’t Dance," and "Drinking Class." Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and others have recorded his songs, and he's performed on numerous TV shows, including NBC's Today, ABC's The Bachelor, NBC's The Voice and FOX's Miss USA 2018.

Lee’s latest Number 1 single, “Rumor," is off his fourth studio album, Lee Brice, released November 3, 2017 on Curb Records. Official Website:

About Michael Ray
Country singer-songwriter Michael Ray was a hit right out of the box, scoring both with critics and on the charts. With Country Aircheck boasting there are "big things on the horizon for Michael Ray" and his live shows lauded by USA Today as simply "lip-smacking good," the Florida native backed up that praise with two number ones from his 2015 self-titled debut album with "Kiss You in the Morning" and "Think a Little Less." His sophomore album, Amos, which debuted in the Top 3 on the BillboardCountry Charts upon release has already spawned the hit "Get to You" and third No. 1 "One That Got Away," which All Access declared "an undeniable crowd pleaser." His latest single “Her World Or Mine” is available now and be sure to see him perform it live on Brantley Gilbert's Not Like Us Tour, now through mid-October. Learn more about Ray at

About Reba McEntire
Multi-media entertainment mogul Reba McEntire has become a household name through a successful career that spans across music, television, film, theater and retail. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Hollywood Bowl member has won 16 ACM Awards, 15 American Music Awards, 9 People’s Choice Awards, 6 CMA Awards, 3 GRAMMY® Awards and a GMA Dove Award. The Grand Ole Opry member has also received the Andrea Bocelli Foundation Humanitarian Award, Leadership Music Dale Franklin Award, the Music Biz Chairman’s Award, the National Artistic Achievement Award from the U.S. Congress and membership into the Horatio Alger Association, in addition to other philanthropic and leadership honors. In 2018, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame presented Reba with the inaugural Career Maker Award for her significant influence on the songwriting careers of Nashville songwriters. She also joined an elite group of creators as one of the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors recipients for her lifetime artistic achievements alongside Cher, Philip Glass, Wayne Shorter and the creators of Hamilton – writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and music director Alex Lacamoire.
In 2017, she marked her thirteenth summit as SING IT NOW: SONGS OF FAITH & HOPE topped both the Billboard Country and Christian/Gospel charts, bolstering Reba’s successful record of 35 No. 1 singles and over 56 million albums sold worldwide. The double-disc collection earned Reba her first GMA Dove Award for Bluegrass/Country/Roots Album of the Year and third GRAMMY® Award for Best Roots Gospel Album. Reba co-produced her latest album, STRONGER THAN THE TRUTH (Big Machine Records) alongside Buddy Cannon in Nashville.
The Oklahoma native is an acclaimed actress with 11 movie credits to her name, a lead role on Broadway in Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun and starred in the six-season television sitcom Reba. In 2005, she partnered with Dillard’s to launch her own lifestyle brand, and most recently launched the REBA by Justin™ western footwear collection at select retailers nationwide. She was named the first female and musician to portray KFC’s iconic founder Colonel Harland Sanders in the brand’s celebrity colonel campaign. Throughout 2019, she will bring that same bubbly energy and penchant for excellence to Las Vegas as part of the longest-running Country residency in The Colosseum’s history alongside her superstar pals for REBA, BROOKS & DUNN: Together In Vegas at Caesars. For tour dates and more, visit

About Sam Hunt
Grammy® Award-nominee, American Music Award and Academy of Country Music Award-winner Sam Hunt has established a name for himself as one of music’s most talked about talents. In 2017, Hunt released “Body Like a Back Road” which landed on the Billboard “Hot 100” chart as his highest debuting single. It garnered more than 200 million streams and became RIAA-certified 5x platinum and broke a record six decades in the making, spending 35 consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.  Hunt earned two 2018 Grammy nominations for “Body Like A Back Road” in both the “Best Country Song” and “Best Country Solo Performance” categories. Hunt's debut album on MCA Nashville, Montevallo, is the best-selling debut album from a country artist since 2011. Since the album's release, Hunt has accumulated over 2.53 billion streams and has earned an additional 10.5 million in RIAA single certifications.  In 2016, Hunt earned his first-ever Grammy® nomination for "Best New Artist" and "Best Country Album."  He also celebrated his first American Music Award earning the all-genre "New Artist of the Year" title and was nominated for four Billboard Music Awards. 

About Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn has long been established as the undisputed Queen of Country Music, with more than 50 years of recording and touring to her name. A self-taught guitarist and songwriter, Lynn was one of the most distinctive performers in Nashville in the 1960s and 1970s. She shook up Nashville by writing her own songs, many of which tackled boundary-pushing topics drawn from her own life experiences as a wife and mother. "Coal Miner's Daughter," "Fist City" and "Don't Come Home A' Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)" are just three of 16 country No. 1 singles.
Lynn is also one of the most awarded musicians of all time. She has been inducted into more music Halls of Fame than any female recording artist, including The Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and was the first woman to be named the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year in 1972. Lynn received Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. In 2015, she was named recipient of Billboard's inaugural Women in Music "Legend" Award. Lynn has won four Grammy Awards (including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010) and sold more than 45 million records worldwide.

About United States Senator Lamar Alexander
In 2016, the nation’s governors created the James Madison Award to recognize members of Congress who support federalism and the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing states’ rights. The governors named Senator Lamar Alexander as the first-ever recipient of the award for his work to fix No Child Left Behind. The new education law Alexander worked to pass was signed by the president in December 2015. The Wall Street Journal called it “the largest devolution of federal power to the states in a quarter century.”
In 2013, the National Conference of State Legislatures gave Senator Alexander and three other senators its “Restoring the Balance” Award for protecting states’ rights, the first time in 10 years the organization gave this award to U.S. senators.

Alexander, a seventh-generation Tennessean born and raised in Maryville, was twice elected governor of Tennessee. He has always believed that in most cases the best decisions are made by those closest to the people. Today, Alexander chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Alexander is also chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, where he works to boost funding for basic energy research and invest in our inland waterways and harbors. Alexander was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and has been re-elected twice. His Republican colleagues elected him three times to be chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. 

He has previously served as president of the University of Tennessee and as U.S. Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush.

A classical and country pianist and the author of seven books, Lamar Alexander and his wife Honey have four children and nine grandchildren and a dog named Rufus. 
About City National
With $53.6 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through 70 offices, including 19 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $75.1 billion in client investment assets.
City National is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC serves more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 34 other countries.
For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at