Country music star Eric Paslay presented MTSU alumni award at Opry

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MTSU recording industry alumnus and country music star Eric Paslay, second from right, holds his 2015 MTSU Young Alumni Achievement Award presented Tuesday, March 15, at his Grand Ole Opry performance in Nashville Tuesday night. From left are Ken Paulson, dean of the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, Paslay, and MTSU alumnus Pete Fisher, general manager of the Opry. (Courtesy of Grand Ole Opry)

MTSU recording industry alumnus and country music hit-maker Eric Paslay took a pause from his Tuesday night (March 15) performance at the Grand Ole Opry to belatedly accept one of the top recognitions given by his alma mater.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee presented the Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter with the university's 2015-16 Young Alumni Achievement Award, announced last fall along with other alumni awards in advance of the annual homecoming celebration.

Paslay (Class of 2005), who was on tour last fall and unable to attend the awards presentation on campus, was all smiles as McPhee presented the award to him on the Opry stage.

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A Grammy nominee in 2013 as a songwriter, Paslay received his first Grammy nomination this year as a performer in the best country duo/group performance category for his collaboration with Charles Kelley and Dierks Bentley on "The Driver."

Paslay has celebrated five No. 1 hits as a songwriter including "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" (Eli Young Band), "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" (Jake Owen), "Angel Eyes" (Love & Theft), "Rewind" (Rascal Flatts) and his own "FridayNight," the lead single from his critically acclaimed self-titled debut album.

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He has penned tunes for artists ranging from Amy Grant to Donny and Marie Osmond to Lady Antebellum.

MTSU's recording industry program is part of the university's College of Media and Entertainment. Learn more at http://www.mtsu.edu/media/.

MTSU recognizes outstanding alumni each year who bring the university prestige and distinction through their professional careers, loyal support and service to the wider community. Since 1960, the MTSU Alumni Association has recognized accomplished alumni with the association's highest honor: the Distinguished Alumni Award. A younger alumnus who is making a positive impact in the world receives the Young Alumni Achievement Award.

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