MASHANTUCKET — Entertainment icon Dwight Yoakam, the musician at the forefront of the neo-traditionalist movement that many fans and critics think saved country music in the late 1980s and '90s, will play the Fox Theater at Mashantucket this Sunday at 8 p.m.
Yoakam, who joined an elite list of legends like Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash just last month when he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, is set to receive the prestigious President’s Award at the 67th annual BMI Country Awards on Nov. 12 at BMI’s Nashville office. The President’s Award celebrates songwriters for their outstanding and influential work in the entertainment industry. Past recipients of this honor include Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson, Brooks & Dunn, Pink and Adam Levine.
Yoakam went from living in rural southeast Kentucky — just across the Virginia state line from the area that produced the Carter Family and Stanley Brothers — to going west and reviving the California country sound. He has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, and he is a 21-time Grammy nominee and a multiple Grammy-Award winner. He has 12 gold albums and 9 platinum or multi-platinum albums, with five of those albums topping Billboard’s Country Albums chart and another 14 landing in the Top 10. Nearly 40 of Yoakam’s singles have charted on Billboard, with 14 peaking in the Top 10. He is also the recipient of the "Artist of the Year" award from the Americana Music Association, the most prestigious award offered by the organization.
Yoakam’s self-curated SiriusXM channel, titled "Dwight Yoakam and The Bakersfield Beat ‘Where Country Went Mod,'" is set to launch next April. In 2016, Yoakam released his bluegrass album "Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars," on Sugar Hill Records, featuring a band of bluegrass luminaries. The album boasts a collection of reinterpreted favorites from his catalog, as well as a cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain."
In addition to his musical career, Yoakam is a formidable film and television actor who has appeared in more than 40 feature films, including "Sling Blade" and "Panic Room." In 2016, he recurred in David E. Kelley’s Amazon series "Goliath." Recently, he appeared in director Steven Soderbergh’s film "Logan Lucky" with Channing Tatum and Daniel Craig. He has appeared on screen with some of the world’s top actors, including Jodie Foster, Tommy Lee Jones, Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker and Matthew McConaughey.
— Nancy Burns-Fusaro