Legends including Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard and Kenny Rogers were honoured at a star-studded country music ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday night (22Sep09).
Randy Travis, Hank Williams Jr. and the late Jerry Reed and Harlan Howard were also named for their creative and commercial contributions to the musical genre by The Academy of Country Music.
Rogers, Travis, Williams Jr. and Reed were given the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award, while Haggard and Howard were honoured with the Poet's Award for their songwriting.
Parton received the Jim Reeves International Award for spreading awareness of country music abroad.
Williams Jr. was forced to pull out of attending due to "family reasons" and Parton accepted her award via a video link.
In her speech, Parton told the audience, "May we all make beautiful music for years to come."
Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Kellie Pickler and Carrie Underwood were among the stars performing at the ceremony, which was hosted by Lee Ann Womack.