For the eleventh time, Reba McEntire will host the annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards ceremony, which honors country music’s top talent and hottest emerging talent.

The music and television star is an 11-time Academy of Country Music Award winner, including the first-ever annual ACM/Home Depot Humanitarian Award for her outstanding philanthropic work. The show is set for 8 p.m. on April 5, 2009, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.

In addition to its 44th annual award ceremony, the Academy will also produce an “Artist of the Decade” show honoring George Strait at the same location on April 6, 2009. This marks the first time the Artist of the Decade Award will be delivered during its own, unique event.

Tickets for both events will be on sale from November 6-20 for professional members and fans that are associate members. Non-members can purchase tickets after November 20. However, individuals can sign up for free ACM associate membership at to receive a ticket purchase code.

Strait’s Artist of the Decade award is in recognition of his record-breaking career that spans nearly 25 years. Only four other acts have been honored as Artist of the Decade in the Academy’s history, including Marty Robbins (1969), Loretta Lynn (1979), Alabama (1988) and Garth Brooks (1998).

Strait has won 19 ACM Awards, including Entertainer of the Year in 1990. He also holds the record for the most Number One hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and currently has 56 number one singles to his credit. Strait has sold more than 68 million records, garnering him 32 different platinum or multi-platinum albums resulting in the most RIAA Platinum certifications in country music and the third in all genres, behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

“We are thrilled that Reba is back to host and that George will be honored with this milestone award,” said Bob Romeo, executive director of the Academy of Country Music, in a statement.

Orly Adelson, president of the ACM shows’ production company Dick Clark Productions, added, “The Awards have become a concert event, treating music fans to amazing performances, unexpected combinations of artists and memorable moments. We expect both shows next year to deliver on those elements.”

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