Vince Gill Nabs Irving Waugh Award of Excellence at 2014 CMA Awards
The award is given to artists who have a historic impact on country music. Gill has sold more than 26 million albums, and is one of the most-awarded country artists in history. His hits include such all-time classics as 'Go Rest High on That Mountain,' 'Look at Us,' 'I Still Believe in You' and 'When I Call Your Name,' which Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood sang in introducing the honor.
The presentation included a video tribute from Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Merle Haggard, James Taylor and more. Paisley saluted Gill, saying, "He somehow manages to be the ultimate class act and class clown."
Gill paid tribute to Irving Waugh in his speech. "He simply said, 'Vince Gill is a fine specimen of a man,' and straight up, that made me feel a little weird," Gill recalled of Waugh, who originated the CMAs TV broadcast and eventually tapped Gill for his hosting duties. "Irving was the consummate gentleman. He was a gentleman's gentleman, and something a young gentleman can do is learn from an older gentleman how to be a better gentleman. Irving Waugh epitomized that."
He also paid tribute to the younger generation of country artists.
"The camaraderie that you have, I'm envious of it ... I watch you all love each other and high five each other and it's a beautiful thing to watch."
Gill has had a huge week, also winning the BMI Icon Award Tuesday night (Nov. 4).
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