When thinking about country artists with truly worldwide appeal, Kane Brown is right up in the top ranks.
Throughout much of 2022 and 2023, Brown was busy making waves over across the pond with his Drunk or Dreaming tour, which took him to Australia, Europe and the UK.
Because of his massive international success in the last few years and his becoming such a huge ambassador of country music worldwide, the 'Bury Me In Georgia' hitmaker was honored with the ACM International Award at the 16th Annual ACM Honors.
In only eight years, Brown has gone from posting his singing covers on YouTube and Facebook to becoming one of the most internationally recognized country artists in modern times.
Sonically, what the Georgia native brings to the table is different to mostly anyone else in the format. Notching numerous genre-spanning collaborations and playing with different musical styles, he has served as beacon for what country music does and can do both in the U.S. and far beyond, too.
As is tradition at one of the industry's biggest nights of the year, an artist who has been influential to the creative being honored is tapped to cover one of the honorees biggest hits.
For Brown, that person was long-tenured singer-songwriter Lee Brice, who sang his rendition of his eighth No. 1 single, 'Like I Love Country Music.' Before sailing off into the tune, though, Brice took it upon himself to jog everyone's memory of how Brown got his start.
"Kane, we're switching things up. Tonight I'll be covering one of your songs, but I do remember a time when you covered one or two of mine," Brice quipped as an old video of a young Brown flashed on the screen, singing Brice's own 'I Don't Dance.'
Presenting Brown with the International Award was country icon, Randy Travis and his wife Mary, who both received a roaring standing ovation as they entered the stage.
Speaking on Randy's behalf, Mary took attendees through the two men's relationship, which has blossomed since their first meeting in October of 2016. Before that, though, Mary explained that Randy had seen one of Brown's videos where he covered an old Travis classic and commented "Such an incredible talent! Wishing you all the best."
"There's no greater example of the power of music than what happened between Kane and Randy," Mary shared.
"Kane Brown paved his own path, from rural Georgia to Nashville, Tennessee, and straight into the hearts of everyone worldwide. He did it his way, in eight short, incredible years, and he's become a point of light for so many people from all walks of life."
As he accepted the award, Brown offered, "This means the world to me as a kid from a small town in Georgia, when the furthest place I'd ever travelled was to Florida. Country music let me into the family and now I get to travel the world and be different, which is what I've always wanted to be and what I always have been."
The full broadcast from the 16th Annual ACM Honors will be aired on Monday, September 18 on Fox, and available to stream next day on Hulu. For a complete list of honorees and performers, head here.
For more on the 2023 ACM Honors, see below: