|Photo credit: Christy Walker-Watkins/AristoMedia|
Australian artist Tommy Emmanuel was presented with the 2011 CMA Global Country Artist Award Monday by superstar Keith Urban, in front of a standing room only crowd at the Chevrolet Presents the CMA Global Artist Party at The Stage in Nashville during 2011 CMA Music Festival Week.
After performing acoustically to an enthralled crowd Emmanuel was surprised when Urban joined him on stage for the presentation. The award recognizes outstanding achievement by an artist who has furthered Country Music's popularity and brought attention to the format in their foreign-based territory. Previous winners include Paul Brandt (Canada), Troy Cassar-Daley (Australia), Lee Kernaghan (Australia), and Jason McCoy (Canada).
"This award means so much to me because I spend 90 percent of the year on the road, travelling around the world playing music," said Emmanuel. "And I tell people about America because I love this place. I choose to live in Nashville because a lot of the roots of the music that I play are right here and in Kentucky. I've always seen it as not just my job but my calling to get out there and play music and show the younger generation that it's cool to be yourself and set your mind on being the best that you can."
Recognized internationally as one of the world's finest guitar pickers, Tommy Emmanuel has been performing for almost five decades. Chet Atkins called the two-time Grammy nominee "one of the all-time greatest guitarists on the planet." A multiple award winner, Emmanuel was known throughout Asia, Australia, and Europe before he became known in the US. His catalogue includes 20 recordings and he performs 300 concerts a year worldwide, currently he is on tour in the USA www.tommyemmanuel.com.