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“Being given the Poet’s Award is truly a great honor,” Bill noted. He jokingly added, “But I secretly suspect I got the first onebecause they're doing it in alphabetical order!” Paying tribute to three of Bill’s hits were Joe Nichols, who performed “I’ll Wait for You,” Connie Smith with her breakthrough song, “Once a Day”; and Jon Randall singing "Whiskey Lullaby". Brenda Lee, the Oak Ridge Boys and the late singers Conway Twitty and Porter Wagoner were honored as recipients of the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. The Honors event also recognized musicians and other non-televised category winners from the ACM Awards show this past May.