The late country icon Glen Campbell was honored last night at the 51st Country Music Association Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with a riveting musical tribute and the posthumous award for Musical Event of the Year for “Funny How Time Slips Away,” his poignant duet with Willie Nelson, from his acclaimed farewell album, Adiós. As the stage went dark, Campbell’s lifelong musical collaborator Jimmy Webb and country superstars Little Big Town performed an emotional version of “Wichita Lineman,” one of Campbell’s signature songs written by Webb. The CMA Awards aired on ABC.
Campbell’s award for Musical Event of the Year, which came three months after his passing on August 8, was accepted by his widow Kim Campbell, wife of 34 years, their daughter Ashley Campbell and son Shannon Campbell, who both performed on Adiós. “The award is a bittersweet reminder of his amazing talent and ability and that the world and his peers still love and appreciate him as much as we do,” said Kim Campbell. “I wish I could say that these last few months have slipped by, but the family and I miss him every day. I’m still amazed at how Glen was able to express his soul and touch the world through his music, even while in the throes of Alzheimer’s. A heartfelt thanks to Willie Nelson for being part of our lives and this incredible song.”
“Funny How Time Slips Away,” one of Nelson’s classic songs written 56 years ago, was recorded for Campbell’s farewell album Adiós, released in June via UMe to rave reviews. The collaboration between longtime friends takes on a new gravitas as the two legends reflect back together. Rolling Stone called it “a marvelous, albeit heartbreaking, tribute to their enduring love and respect for one another.”
Adiós capped off an extraordinary career for Campbell that spanned more than six decades and 50 million albums sold. Hailed as one of the best of his career, the album received an incredible reaction around the world from the likes of Rolling Stone, USA Today, NPR, Uncut and many others. It debuted in the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 garnering Campbell his 16th Top 40 album and his 19th Top 10 Country Record.
The album Campbell had always wanted to do, Adiós was recorded following his “Goodbye Tour” which he launched after revealing he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Produced by longtime friend and bandmate, Carl Jackson, the 12-track collection features Campbell singing songs from some of his favorite songwriters like Jimmy Webb, his longtime collaborator behind some of his biggest hits like “Wichita Lineman,” “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” and “Galveston,” and the title track. Other songwriters featured include Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Fred Neil, Roger Miller, Jerry Reed and Dickey Lee.
In his lifetime, Campbell won two CMA Awards – both in 1968 for Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year – and was nominated 15 times.