Photo Credit John Russell/CMA

Country Music Hall of Fame member and musical icon Willie Nelson was presented with the inaugural CMA Lifetime Achievement Award Thursday during “The 46thAnnual CMA Awards.”

On receiving the two-foot tall Award from Brad Paisley, Nelson smiled and said, “Wow. You could do push-ups with this. This is a great honor. Thank you to the CMA.”

“Willie is an iconic musical legend and innovator,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Even as he approaches his 80th birthday, Willie continues to be a lasting and meaningful influence on our music and artists. There is no one more deserving of this honor than Mr. Willie Nelson.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award was created and meant to be presented to an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in Country Music. The award recognizes an artist who has achieved both national and international prominence and stature through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales, and public representation at the highest level.

In creating the award, the CMA Board of Directors determined that the artists receiving this award must have positively impacted and contributed to the growth of the genre throughout a course of years that have proven to have an unprecedented and provides historical impact on fans and industry alike.

The Award was approved by the CMA Board in July. And now that it has been presented to Nelson, it will be renamed the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.