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Blake Shelton named among early ACM Award winners

Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum and The Judds have been named early winners of 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards.

Academy officials announced a string of top honourees on Friday (22Mar13), two weeks before the ceremony, which will be broadcast live on 7 April (13).

Shelton, who will co-host the show, will be handed the Gene Weed Award, given to unique country artists, while Aldean will be the recipient of the Crystal Milestone Award for his career achievements so far.

Guy Clark and Hank Williams have landed the Poet's Award for songwriting, and Lady Antebellum is honored with the Jim Reeves International Award for promoting country music around the world.

The Judds and Keith Whitley have been selected to receive the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award.

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