Vince Gill to Receive Hospitality Industry’s Top Award for Contributions to Success of the Tourism and Convention Business in Nashville
Gill Recognized for Support of Country Music Hall of Fame, Women’s Final Four, NHL All-Star Game, Nashville Predators and Other Initiatives Important to Industry
NASHVILLE – Vince Gill, a multi-GRAMMY winning singer-songwriter widely respected for his humanitarian work and generous support of charitable causes in Nashville, will receive the hospitality industry’s top award for contributions to the success of the tourism and convention business in Nashville by someone outside the industry, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today. Gill is the third recipient of the E.W. “Bud” Wendell Award, joining former Gov. Phil Bredesen and former Mayor Karl Dean.
“Whether he is playing guitar for All for the Hall, advocating for the Women’s Final Four or serving as Mayor of Smashville during the NHL All-Star Game, Vince Gill has contributed mightily to who we are as Music City,” said Ken Levitan, board chair of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp and co-president of Vector Management. “There is no better ambassador to represent the diversity of music that is thriving in Music City than a musician who can go from traditional country to bluegrass to western swing to gospel to just about any kind of musical style with the ease that Vince does. Most of all, Vince embodies the kind of warmth that makes Nashville the friendliest city in the world, and Music City would not be who we are today without his numerous contributions.”
One of the most honored artists in country music, Gill is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry. His deep commitment, along with that of his wife contemporary Christian and pop star Amy Grant, to charitable causes have made a significant impact on the city. Notable among his contributions has been his unwavering support of junior golf. Additionally, Gill’s involvement in the hospitality industry has helped shape Nashville into the top global destination it is today.
Gill will be presented the E.W. “Bud” Wendell Award at Nashville’s National Tourism Week Hospitality Industry Celebration, which will take place on May 3 at 11:30 a.m. at the Karl F. Dean Grand Ballroom at the Music City Center. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will offer the keynote address. Registration to attend the luncheon is still open.
In the early 1990s, Gill was part of a group that helped select a design for Bridgestone Arena and was the only musician to serve on the committee. He’s been a supporter of the Nashville Predators since they started playing at the Arena and is one of the team’s most high-profile season ticket holders. He was named Mayor of Smashville during the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, serving as the face of the star-studded event. Additionally, Gill was deeply involved in Nashville’s selection to host the Women’s Final Four in 2014.
Gill was a strong advocate for the expansion of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, serving as its board president and founding the All for the Hall concert series that he continues to co-host with Keith Urban. When Nashville was struck with the devastating floods of 2010, Gill hosted a flood relief telethon, accentuating the city’s “Open for Business” message to encourage visitors to keep coming to Music City and exemplifying the volunteer spirit that helped Nashville pull through flood recovery.
The E.W. “Bud” Wendell Award honors the work of a Nashville business executive who helped make Nashville into the music entertainment destination it is today. Wendell began his career with the National Life and Accident Insurance Company (then the parent company of WSM and the Grand Ole Opry). He was named manager of the Grand Ole Opry in 1968 and was ultimately named president and CEO of Gaylord Entertainment in 1991. He expanded the Opryland Hotel into Nashville’s largest convention facility, and he oversaw Gaylord’s renovation of the Ryman Auditorium and the opening of the Wildhorse Saloon dance club, which helped revive a declining downtown Nashville. Wendell is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
One of the most popular singers in modern country music, Vince Gill is famous for his top-notch songwriting, world-class guitar playing and warm, soaring tenor, all wrapped up in a quick and easy wit. Gill achieved his big breakthrough in 1990 with “When I Call Your Name,” which won both the Country Music Association’s Single and Song of the Year awards, as well as a GRAMMY. Gill has won 18 CMA Awards, including Song of the Year four times – making him the most-awarded artist in that category in CMA history. Since 1990, Gill has won 20 GRAMMY Awards. A wide-ranging songwriter, his compositions earned him entry into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005. The Academy of Country Music has conferred on Gill eight awards, including its prestigious Home Depot Humanitarian Award and the 2011 Career Achievement Award. Gill was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry. In August 2012, Gill was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame in 2007. He is a member of the four-time GRAMMY-nominated band The Time Jumpers. Gill has produced albums for LeAnn Rimes, Amy Grant and Ashley Monroe and has made guest appearances on more than 500 albums, including on those by Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, George Jones and others. Gill’s new album, Down To My Last Bad Habit, was released Feb. 12.
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVC’s website at www.visitmusiccity.com, tune in to our internet radio station at www.highway65radio.com, and follow us on social media: