Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Vince Gill has won many awards over the course of his career. But no awards show experience so inspired him to give back as the Home Depot Humanitarian Award at the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards in 2006.
Gill has also received the E.W. “Bud” Wendell Award at Nashville’s National Tourism Week Hospitality Industry Celebration for his contributions to Nashville. And he received the Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award with his wife, Amy Grant, for their philanthropic efforts.
At the ACM Awards, Gill gave a speech that rambled a bit, but was especially memorable for its grand finale.
Vince Gill Speaks on Inspirations
“I’m honored that Home Depot thought enough of me to give me this tonight,” he began, brandishing the award. “There’s an awful lot going through my mind, and I know that time is precious on these shows, but I would like to send my condolences out to my Grand Ole Opry [brother] Billy Walker and his wife Betty, and to two fine musician friends of mine… we mourn their loss.”
“I gotta tell you something, 22 years ago I stepped on this stage for the first time as a young kid in a gray suit and I won my first award, for the best new boy singer,” he continued. “And the beauty of this award is because it honors the giving spirit. I have a wife that has an even better giving spirit than I do in Amy Grant. You inspire me greatly every day.”
“I know I’m running over and I’m so sorry,” he added. “But I was compelled to do this because this is about giving, this award is about giving. I saw a little girl running around tonight with an autograph book. Wherever you are, Caitlin, would you come up here?”
A little girl with short hair and a white dress ran up and joined Gill on the stage.
“I’m not sure, but I believe this is a Make A Wish child,” Gill said. “And I’ve been with a few Make A Wish children over the years, and I got so much more out of that meeting with those kids than they ever will. So in honor of the giving spirit, I give you this tonight and say God bless you.”