Fran Boyd

Fran Boyd, a former Executive Director of the ACM and an essential player in shaping and growing the organization from its early years in California in the late-1960s through the start of the millennium, passed away on March 9, 2024. She was 84 years old.

Fran became the Academy’s first paid employee when she was hired as an executive secretary in 1968 and worked her way through the ranks over the years, overseeing daily operations of the organization, serving as Talent Producer of the ACM Awards, and maintaining oversight of virtually every aspect of the annual awards presentation. In 1995, following the passing of her husband Bill, who himself led the Academy, Fran was named Executive Director.

At the time of her retirement in 2002, she said, “I continue to be proud of all the Academy of Country Music has accomplished in my time. It has given me great joy to see so many young Country artists rise from newcomers to having great careers. The Academy has helped music fans acknowledge Country Music as the enduring genre it deserves to be.” 

The Academy’s signature “hat” trophy was created the same year Fran Boyd joined the Academy, and throughout her tenure, she saw the organization open its first office in Hollywood, CA, refresh its name from the Academy of Country and Western Music to the Academy of Country Music in the early 1970s, and move the awards show to a number of major California venues, including Disneyland, Universal Amphitheatre, and Knott’s Berry Farm.

“Her tireless work and years of dedication to this organization, the Country Music industry and its artists cannot be overstated, and her legacy with the Academy will forever live on,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music.

“Fran Boyd played an essential part in the Academy’s history, stretching way back to the earliest days in the 1960s and steering the ship through decades of change, innovation, and growth, all while fostering an incredible passion for Country Music,” said Gayle Holcomb, ACM Board Sergeant-At-Arms and longtime Board member. “Fran will always be remembered as a champion for our industry, its artists, and this organization. On behalf of the ACM Officers and Board of Directors, I send our gratitude, prayers, and condolences to the Boyd family.”