NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess) — Lisa Lee, Senior Vice President of creative and content for the Academy of Country Music, died on Saturday, August 21st. She was 52.
Her passing was announced by the Country Music Association, who said that Lee passed away after a battle with brain cancer.
A native of Arkansas, Lee graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a degree in journalism and English, and a master’s in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
After graduating, she accepted a post at the Cabot Star-Herald newspaper but soon found her way on television, reporting for KTAL-TV, an NBC affiliate serving Texarkana and Shreveport, LA.
Lee developed a reputation for her coverage country music and became a fixture at concerts around the region, providing news coverage while developing contacts in the concert industry.
She managed to parlay one of those contacts into a role at Jim Owens and Associates, the Nashville-based production company behind TNN Country News at the time, landing a role as a reporter and producer in Nashville market.
She next moved to CMT and CMT.com, serving as a news reporter and producer. Then, as part of the MTV Networks group, she expanded her focus to events across the US, as well as international markets such as Japan and the UK.
In 2004, she relocated to Los Angeles, becoming the Hollywood-based correspondent and West Coast News Bureau Chief for the country music focused CMT Insider.
She joined the Academy of Country Music in 2007, helping the organization to develop an in-house creative team and video production department. As the Academy’s lead staff producer, she had oversite over everything from the creation, design and production of videos, to logos, printed materials and the ACM Awards book. She also played a role in the development of both the ACM and ACM Lifting Lives websites.
Leveraging her experience in broadcast journalism, Lee served as the liaison between the ACM and CBS television’s creative departments and CBS.com for promos and creative content around the CMA Awards and served as producer for the Academy of Country Music Honors for special honorees, industry figures, and off camera category winners.
In 2014, Lisa wrote and created the book This Is Country: A Backstage Pass to the Academy of Country Music Awards.
Lisa was a member of the Writers Guild of America. She was also a Leadership Music alum.
“Lisa Lee and I grew up together in this business. She was a TV reporter, producer, writer, and big executive. She covered my heroes and my friends, she wrote about me and my mother. She truly cared about country music – and I absolutely cared about her. Good-bye, my sweet friend,” said Kenny Chesney, following the news of her passing.
Lisa is survived by her parents, Charlie and Faye Young; her husband (and high school sweetheart) Doug Lee; daughter Grayson, and son Jackson. Also, in laws Phillip and Sarah Lee of Cabot and many other Lee family members. She was preceded in death by her grandparents and brothers, Jason Young and Dennis Young. Visitation to be held this Friday from 5-8 pm at Moore’s Funeral Home, 700 North Second Street, Cabot, Arkansas followed by a memorial service Saturday. To stay updated on details for next weekend’s services, the celebration of life to be held in Nashville at a later date
Well wishers can support her family through a donation to her memorial fund.