Alan Jackson won songwriter/artist of the year honors for his hits “A Woman’s Love” and “Small Town Southern Man” during the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers country awards Monday.
Other big winners were Dave Berg, songwriter of the year, and Rachel Thibodeau, country song of the year.
Brooks & Dunn, LeAnn Rimes and Kelly Clarkson honored McEntire by performing some of her songs. McEntire herself surprised the crowd by singing one of her earliest hits, “(You Lift Me) Up to Heaven.”
EMI Music Publishing won publisher of the year for songs including “How Long” (Eagles) and “Never Wanted Nothing More” (Kenny Chesney).
Songwriters including McEntire, Lyle Lovett, Buddy Miller, David Lee Murphy and Brent Rowan won the Silver Circle honor in recognition of 25 years or more of membership in the performance rights organization.