The 30-year-old country music heartthrob picked up the Songwriter/Artist of the Year prize the Nashville, Tennessee ceremony, where he and co-writer Josh Osborne were also awarded the coveted Song of the Year trophy for their track Leave The Night On.

Hunt and Osborne also received special recognition for the hit Take Your Time, and the singer earned additional accolades for writing Keith Urban's Cop Car and Billy Currington's We Are Tonight.

"I bought a cheap acoustic pawn-shop guitar the summer after I graduated from high school because I was bored," former college football star Hunt recalled during his acceptance speech. "It's amazing now thinking about how such a seemingly insignificant moment in my mind had such a drastic impact on the rest of my life."

Veteran singer Trisha Yearwood was also feted at the ceremony with the Voice of Music Award in recognition of her creative contributions to country music culture and accomplishments in her distinguished career thus far.

Justin Timberlake and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter presented Yearwood with the prize, while renditions of her classic songs were performed by Lady Antebellum, Reba MCEntire, and Allie Brooks, the daughter of Yearwood's husband Garth Brooks.