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The 6th Annual ACM Honors ceremony was held Monday night at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium with country stars of this generation such as Hunter Hayes paying tribute to some of the genre’s legends like Dwight Yoakam. Hunter performed “Fast as You” in recognition of Dwight getting the ACM’s Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award this year.

“I just love who Dwight is and what he stands for,” says Hunter. “He’s got the thing that we all try to do right, where it’s just undeniably him. You hear a Dwight Yoakam song, it’s him. When you reference a Dwight Yoakam song, everybody knows what you’re talking about.”

Dierks Bentley served as emcee for the evening setting a laid back tone when he took the stage with a cocktail in hand at the top of the show. His heroes Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and Emmylou Harris were among the other stars honored Monday night along with Dwight. Dierks says, “I grew up on their music, and all four of those folks really have bluegrass in their country music. It’s a theme that I can relate to and love them for.”

Dierks sang “I Don’t Care” in honor of Ricky Skaggs in addition to hosting.

Luke Bryan performed a medley of “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” and “I Don’t Want This Night to End” in recognition of his songwriter on those songs, Dallas Davidson, being named ACM Songwriter of the Year. Kellie Pickler sang Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” in tribute to the song’s co-writer and producer Billy Sherrill, and Randy Houser performed George Jones‘ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” to recognize the song’s co-writer, Poet Award winner Bobby Braddock.

Alan Jackson was on hand to accept the Jim Reeves International Award, and Kenny Chesney also accepted the ACM Crystal Milestone Award recognizing him for selling more than 10 million concert tickets.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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