Chris Willman/Variety – Holly Gleason
Pollstar contributor Holly Gleason is presented the CMA Media Achievement Award from Miranda Lambert during the CMA Awards show at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Nov. 13.
Holly Gleason, a music journalist, author and frequent Pollstar contributor, was also a big winner at the Country Music Association Awards last night, walking away with the prestigious Media Achievement Award presented to her by Miranda Lambert.
She was a fitting presenter choice, as Lambert was an interview centerpiece of Gleason’s Pollstar package, “A Woman’s Place Is On The Road,” which also examined Carrie Underwood’s all-female tour as the cover feature as well as Lambert’s, a Hotstar profile of emerging artist Tenille Townes and an opening essay.
“I’m grateful,” Gleason tells Pollstar of her achievement. “Miranda came right off stage and said, ‘Let’s do this.’ I didn’t think she was talking about me.” Lambert, direct from performing “It All Comes Out In The Wash,” and the multiple CMA Album, Song, Single and Female Vocalist of the Year winner cited Gleason’s “passion and her will to say whatever’s on her mind.
“If she believes, she will go there and keep going” in setting up the award before the packed media center. The clearly stunned Gleason didn’t realize she was receiving the award until Lambert said, “and she loves dogs.”
“It’s an honor to tell these stories, to seek deeper truths about the music that moves people and defines their lives,” Gleason said of the award. “Knowing so many journalists I respect have won the CMA Media Achievement recognition, I am humbled – and also grateful to the editors who support my work, giving me places that allow diving in the way these stories deserve.”
Gleason has contributed many high-profile pieces to Pollstar in the past year-plus including a recent cover story on CMA Award nominee Midland, and a cover feature on Alabama’s 50th anniversary. She’s profiled Paradigm’s Marty Diamond, reviewed Jimmy Buffett in Paris, wrote a moving appreciation of late Cleveland concert promoter Jules Belkin, a Q&A with CAA’s Latin Music chief Bruno del Granado, and cover stories of John Prine, Ronnie Milsap and Alabama, as well as day-by-day highlights of Bonnaroo.
In addition to her numerous contributions to Pollstar, Gleason also serves as the Nashville Editor of HITS and has been a Rock And Roll Hall of Fame/Case Western Reserve Center for Pop Fellow, and has a storied career as a journalist. She’s written regularly for Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, PASTE, American Songwriter, Texas Music, Musician, MIX, No Depression, Oxford American, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Miami Herald as well as The New York Times, Harpers Bazaar, Saturday Evening Post and NPR. She has been nominated twice for Best Cultural Feature by the International Network of Street Papers for her work with The Contributor and edited the book “Woman Walk The Line: How The Women of Country Music Changed Our Lives” which received the Belmont Book Award, given for best book about country music.
Past winners of the CMA Media Achievement Award include iconic journalists Chet Flippo (Rolling Stone), Jack Hurst (The Chicago Tribune), David Zimmerman (USA Today), Cynthis Sanz (People), historian Robert K. Oermann (The Tennessean), Mark McEwen (“CBS This Morning”), Clay Smith (founding producer, “Entertainment Tonight”) and Monica Escobedo (“Good Morning America”). Given to recognize the media person whose work has done the most to expand the reach and understanding of country music over the past year, the Media Achievement Award is an industry voted award.