The grizzled singer/actor agreed to appear on American breakfast show THE EARLY SHOW - to read out the main-category nominees for the CMAs - and he had no idea he was up for the annual Legend Prize.
Kristofferson was left initially speechless when his name was mentioned, before saying, "What a dirty trick."
He added, "Well, I feel a whole lot better now than I did five minutes ago. I guess it means I'm old."
The father of eight hopes his new honour will win his the appreciation of his kids: "I wanna little respect from them now."
The 38th CMAs will be held on 9 November (04) at the GRAND OLE OPRY in Nashville, Tennessee.
The major nominees are:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
HERE FOR THE PARTY - GRETCHEN WILSON
MUD ON THE TIRES - BRAD PAISLEY
RED DIRT ROAD - BROOKS + DUNN
SHOCK'N Y'ALL - Toby Keith
WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN - Kenny Chesney
KENNY CHESNEYAlan Jackson
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
BROOKS + DUNN
CMA LEGEND AWARD
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON30/08/2004 21:07