Singer/songwriter Alan Jackson was honoured for his lengthy career at the ASCAP Country Music Awards on Tuesday night (14Sep10), taking home the top prize.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) handed the Founders Award to Jackson at the annual ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee.
ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams said the award, which has previously been handed to stars including Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul MCCartney, recognised Jackson as "a supreme talent, inspirational songwriter, recording artist and modern legend, whose artistry, style and enduring music resonate with and inspire generations."
A special musical tribute to Jackson, who was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2001, included performances of several of his hits by Steve Earle, Dierks Bentley and Chris Young.
Bentley took to the stage again during the night to belt out his song Sideways, and went on to win the Songwriter/Artist of the Year award.
Brett James, who is behind top tracks by Carrie Underwood, Tim MCGraw and Kenny Chesney, was also celebrating as he walked away with the Songwriter of the Year trophy, while the Publisher of the Year award went to Sea Gayle Music.
Need You Now, written by Josh Kear and released by Lady Antebellum, was named Country Song of the Year - and the collaborative team took to the stage at the War Memorial Auditorium to perform the track.