Dan + Shay, Chris Young Celebrate the Statler Brothers at 2016 ACM Honors
The Statler Brothers received the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award at the 2016 ACM Honors on Aug. 30 in Nashville. Known for their phenomenal harmonies, the country quartet began their career singing backup and opening for Johnny Cash, but they quickly became stars in their own right, winning more than dozen industry awards and making groundbreaking contributions to the country genre. During the awards show, Dan + Shay teamed up with Chris Young to perform the Statler Brothers' 1965 hit "Flowers on the Wall" in tribute to the group.
"Those guys are pioneers, you know," Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney told The Boot on the red carpet. "We're very much a harmony-driven duo, so we're excited to be able to honor them by doing this song, and hopefully we do it justice. They'll be there, so that's pretty nerve-wracking, but we're excited to be able to do this."
Dan + Shay may have been nervous about doing "Flowers on the Wall" justice, but from the Statler Brothers' point of view, they were a perfect fit for the performance.
"We haven't heard it yet, but just the thought of it -- it bridges the gap, you know, with the new and the old; it's going to be a nice touch," they said, adding that they think Smyers and Mooney are "two of the best in the business."
As for their award, the Statler Brothers were surprised to receive it, but the honor couldn't have gone to more deserving artists.
"When we think about the Pioneer Award, we think, how in the world did we ever win a Pioneer Award?" says Jimmy Fortune, who replaced original member Lew DeWitt when DeWitt stepped away from the group due to illness. "But when you really stop and think about it, the Statler Brothers started 40 years ago now; [they were] the first group that ever broke into country music as a quartet; and they broke a lot of ground -- matter of fact, they broke ground for all other groups to follow. And so, to be here, after all these years, after everything has happened and all the other awards we've won, to be honored with this is a blessing, and we're thankful for it -- we really are."
Fans will be able to see Dan + Shay and Young's performance of "Flowers on the Wall" during the first-ever broadcast of the ACM Honors on Sept. 9 at 9PM ET on CBS.
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