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WRITERS HONORED AT NASHVILLE AWARDS

Toby Keith, Phil Vassar and Jimmy Buffett were among the honorees for songwriting at a special ceremony in Nashville, Sunday night, Oct. 22.

The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) named Toby and Phil the co-winners of the annual Songwriter/Artist of the Year honor. After receiving his award, Phil told Country Weekly, “This is always my favorite event of the year. To win this award is amazing.” NSAI also honored Jeffrey Steele, co-writer of the Rascal Flatts hit “What Hurts the Most,” with the Songwriter of the Year prize. “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” written by Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson, was voted Song of the Year.

Jimmy Buffett, Hugh Prestwood and Jim Weatherly were inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, which is conducted by the Nashville Songwriters Foundation (NSF). The musical highlight of the evening from the Renaissance Hotel featured Big & Rich paying tribute to Jimmy with a rousing rendition of his classic “Margaritaville.” John Rich raved, “There are so many ridiculously talented songwriters in this town. We feel so honored to be part of this.”

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