Country legend Kris Kristofferson was honoured for his lengthy career at a gala in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday (26Mar12).
The Me and Bobby MCGee hitmaker was the guest of honour at the T. J. Martell Foundation ceremony, which included performances from Vince Gill, Ronnie Dunn, Emmylou Harris and Martina MCBride.
Harris sang Kristofferson's hit The Last Thing to Go and was joined by Frances Preston, the retired Ceo of the Bmi performance rights organisation, to present the 75 year old with his lifetime music industry award.
Preston declared, "I want to thank you for the contributions you've made to our industry... I love you."
During his speech, Kristofferson declared, "The only person who should get credit for the growth of Bmi and respect for songwriters is Frances Preston... I can't think of an honour that means more."
The night also featured a fundraising auction for the T.J. Martell Foundation, which pays for research to find cures for leukaemia, cancer and Aids - and Kristofferson helped raise $25,000 ($15,625) by offering a private concert anywhere in the U.S. for the highest bidder.
Dunn paid $12,000 (£7.500) for a Kristofferson model Gibson guitar, and the hitmaker signed the instrument and posed with Dunn for a picture.