December 24, 1968 – August 21, 2021
LOS ANGELES, CA – Lisa Lee, senior vice president of creation and content for the Academy of Country Music, died on Saturday August 21 of brain cancer. She was 52 years old.
Born Alicia Faye Young in Cabot, Arkansas on December 24, 1968, she received a BA in Journalism and English from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and an MA in Audiovisual Journalism from the University’s Medill School of Journalism. Northwestern. Lisa landed a job as a reporter for the Cabot Star-Herald newspaper right out of school. A true advocate for the human condition, his reporting throughout his career was based on a strong focus on the core of what a story meant to those affected. and those who watch.
One of his first jobs was at KTAL-TV, an NBC affiliate serving Texarkana and Shreveport, LA. During its very first mission, the camera stopped working due to high humidity; Lisa and her team “got creative,” drying aging equipment with a hair dryer, rather than messing up the story because of a technical glitch. Although her homework covered a variety of topics, she made it clear early on that it was the entertainment stories that she was really interested in. Eventually, she convinced the station’s management to allow her to do film reviews; she quickly built her own little corner of criticism.
If a Country star appeared anywhere in Arkansas or the surrounding states, Lisa would cover the event. By always doing well researched and thoughtful interviews, she has proven that local affiliates can do insightful and quality work.
A regular at country music events across the region, the always likeable TV reporter began to make meaningful friendships with other members of the media. A friendship with a reporter / producer from Jim Owens and Associates, the Nashville-based production company behind TNN Country News at the time, suggested to keep in touch. Soon she was checking in with the folks at Jim Owens, updating them on every piece of entertainment she was working on, while not working so subtly to convince them to hire her.
As always, his ambition, his talent and his reluctance to take a no for an answer paid off. Hired by Jim Owens and Associates, she was a reporter and producer in Nashville from 1995 to 1999.
In 2000, Lisa joined CMT and CMT.com as a press correspondent and producer. As part of the MTV Networks group at the time, she not only reported events across the United States, but also in England, Japan, Canada and Switzerland.
Always seeking to create and expand the social conversation, she also wrote and produced the Prism Award winning special “Addicted to Addiction”, as well as the TV news shows “Sex in Videos: Where’s the Line” and “Controversy: Tammy Wynette. “
In 2004, Lisa moved to Los Angeles, becoming a Hollywood correspondent and head of the West Coast News Bureau for CMT Insider, the network’s interview-focused news program, where she covered music, movies and television.
In 2007, three years after moving to Los Angeles, Lisa accepted the Academy of Country Music‘s offer to build on her experience as a journalist and television producer to help the Academy create and develop its own creative and video production department. As the Academy’s Senior Producer, she oversaw all video production as well as the design, creation and editing of ACM logos, digital and print materials, including Tempo ACM magazine, the ACM Awards program book, and the ACM and ACM Lifting Lives websites.
With a long history of production and networking teamwork, Lee has served as a liaison with the creative departments of CBS television and CBS.com for promotions and creative content surrounding the annual ACM Awards. She was named a Producer for the Academy of Country Music Honors, a live industry event dedicated to celebrating the Academy’s Special Award winners, off-camera category winners, and ACM Industry and Studio Recording Awards. Held annually in the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Lisa imbued the event with a true love for people who go the extra mile to support, develop and protect country music in its most creative venues.
In 2014 Lisa wrote and created This Is Country: A Backstage Pass for the Academy of Country Music Award. Deeply Wanted Coffee Table Book Celebrated 50e anniversary of the ACM Awards and included a striker Reba McEntire.
Co-workers over the years and around the world have remained close friends. Each is quick to recognize not only the cheerful and ambitious nature that took her from a small town in Arkansas to graduate school at Northwestern University, to a job as a Los Angeles-based entertainment news correspondent. , to a position of senior vice-president at the Academy of Country Music, but also his deeply generous heart. In a difficult business, she understood the issues but also recognized the power to shed light on everything she did.
Lisa was a member of the Writers Guild of America. She was also a Leadership Music alumnus. She was a devoted mother, wife and friend; always the first with a smile, a quick laugh or a kind word on a long day.
Lisa is survived by her parents, Charlie and Faye Young; her husband (and high school sweetheart) Doug Lee; his daughter Grayson and his son Jackson. Plus, Cabot’s in-laws Phillip and Sarah Lee and many other members of the Lee family. She was predeceased by her grandparents and brothers, Jason Young and Dennis Young. Visitations will be on Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Moore Funeral Home, 700 North Second Street, Cabot, Arkansas, followed by a memorial service on Saturday. To stay up to date on details of next weekend’s services, the Celebration of Life to be held in Nashville at a later date, and to support her family by contributing to her Memorial Fund, please click here.
Remembering Lisa Lee:
“Lisa has always been a light in our industry. Her ability to tell not only my story, but the stories of so many people was unmatched because it came from her heart. She really loved her job and it showed on her face every time she was there. I will miss her. ” – Luke Bryan
“Lisa Lee and I grew up in this business together. She was a television journalist, producer, writer and great leader. She covered my heroes and my friends, she wrote about me and my mom. She really cared about country music – and I absolutely cared about her. Goodbye, my sweet friend. – Kenny chesney
“I have always enjoyed visiting Lisa, whether it’s about the music business or an interview. She has been a huge asset to our business. I will certainly miss her smiley face. – Reba McEntire
“We lost one of our real lights yesterday. Lisa Lee was one of the most passionate and caring people I have ever met. Her love and appreciation for music and the artists who created it was all you wanted. I loved being interviewed by her for this reason and because she always brought such warmth to the room. Peace be with all his family today. ” – Keith Urbain
“Lisa Lee loved country music, and if you knew her, she LOVED you. We are a better industry because of the love and care it has shown in everything it has done. I know she always had a smile and a kind word for me. She loved life. We all need to learn a lesson from Lisa’s book and let kindness and love be our guide. ” – Trisha Yearwood
“It’s definitely a sad day for country music. We have lost a shining light and a true leader in our company who cared deeply about telling the story of music, artists and creators. Our hearts go out to her entire family, especially her husband Doug and her precious children Grayson and Jackson during these terribly difficult times. We look forward to honoring him in many ways in the future. “- Lori Badgett, President of ACM and Senior Vice President of City National Bank
“The Academy lost much of its heart and soul with the passing of Lisa Lee. She was a champion of country music and fiercely dedicated to the Academy’s mission for her 15 years of service to the ACM. She is irreplaceable, but her heart and spirit will live on throughout our industry. ACM Honors was her favorite event, and I know she will be singing with us and smiling at us from above on Wednesday night. – Damon Whiteside, CEO, Academy of Country Music
“Since joining the Academy, she has become the heart, soul and historian of ACM. She was passionate about our West Coast roots and created a wonderful snapshot of the organization and its awards show with a table book to celebrate our 50th anniversary. On a personal level, I relied on her to keep me honest when it came to telling the story of the Academy. She had such a depth of knowledge and passion. I will miss her dearly. – RAC Clark, executive producer of the ACM Awards, 1999-present, member of the board of directors of the ACM and interim executive director of the 2019 Academy of Country Music
“Lisa Lee was a trailblazer, a professional, a partner, an effortless expert… but more than that, she was the best human, a loving wife, a proud mother, a faithful friend, a tireless fighter, a faithful child of God. and dedicated. who never hesitated to give everything she had to one of us, professionally or personally. Aside from his many accolades and credits, it is his heart and kindness that leave the most impact. She loved very much. She laughs loudly. We’re all better off having been in his orbit. – Jennie Smythe, CEO, Girlilla Marketing
“Lisa was smart and funny, and a beautiful human being. She was a treasure trove in terms of the history and importance of country music, and she cared deeply about these traditions and the artists. I don’t know what the Academy will do without it. She had a way of her that was sweet, but nourishing. When you do live TV anything can happen (and usually it does); she was a calming influence who could get things done and make people in that setting feel grounded and settled. No matter what, she would be okay. Lisa could talk to anyone. When we were live on the red carpet, she could talk with everyone from a production assistant to a superstar like Garth Brooks – and make everyone feel welcome and at ease. She really just wanted to do her job: tell great stories, and not let politics get in her way. And she did. Plus, she had a smile that could light up a room. She had me – as the line says – hello. I will miss that smile because I lost a true friend. – Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Promotions, Music + Live Events, CBS Entertainment
“An amazing mom, wife and friend. My thoughts are with Doug and the whole family. What a fighter. What a soul. I will miss you my friend! – Storme Warren