Dierks Bentley Hails Alabama as “Country Music’s Most Successful Band”
Alabama’s triumphant return at the June Jam concert festival, after a hiatus of two decades, delighted thousands of fans. The celebrations didn’t stop there as the iconic group graced CMA Fest’s grandest stage on Sunday evening, marking yet another remarkable milestone in their career.
Despite thunderstorms that led to the cancellation of many outdoor events at CMA Fest, Alabama fearlessly took the stage at Nissan Stadium. During their performance, they were surprised with the Country Music Association’s prestigious Pinnacle Award. The honor was presented by Dierks Bentley, who highlighted Alabama’s outstanding achievements, including over 40 No. 1 songs, 75 million albums sold, three Entertainer of the Year titles, and being the first band to perform in football stadiums.
Acknowledging Alabama as the most successful band in country music, Bentley handed them the esteemed Pinnacle Award, recognizing their remarkable contributions to the genre.
During the emotional moment of receiving the Pinnacle Award, Alabama’s remaining members, Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, embraced, visibly moved by the honor. Teddy Gentry proudly held the award aloft. The band’s third member, guitarist Jeff Cook, who passed away in November after a 10-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, was deeply missed during this significant occasion. In remembrance of Jeff, the Country Music Hall of Famers hosted a public memorial in their hometown, Fort Payne, Alabama, during the June Jam weekend.
Expressing their heartfelt wishes, lead singer Randy Owen stated that they hope Fort Payne will carry on the tradition of June Jam, ensuring that it continues to support and benefit the city, the town, the state, and people in general. They want the legacy of June Jam to endure, even after they and Teddy are no longer here.
The Pinnacle Award, presented by the CMA, honors an artist or group that has indisputably redefined the pinnacle of success in country music. Alabama’s monumental achievements during the ’80s played an integral role in the global expansion of country music. With their first No. 1 single, “Tennessee River,” reaching the top spot in 1980, they went on to achieve an astonishing 17 consecutive chart-topping hits. Their timeless classics include “Mountain Music,” “Dixieland Delight,” “Old Flame,” “If You’re Gonna Play In Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle In The Band),” and many more.
The CMA introduced The Pinnacle Award in 2005, and Alabama is now the fourth recipient, following Garth Brooks (the inaugural awardee), Taylor Swift (2013), and Kenny Chesney (2016). The prestigious accolade pays tribute to the unparalleled impact and influence of the recipients on the country music genre.