As the countdown continues to tonight's 47th annual CMA Awards, Monday night's (Nov.4) ASCAP Awards honored some of country music's biggest artists and writers, including the legendary George Strait.

The Texan was the recipient of ASCAP's prestigious Founder's Award, honoring artists and songwriters who have made "pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators."

“I was very honored to get that call,” Strait recalls of when he found out he would be receiving the accolade (quote via Nashville's Tennessean). “Throughout your career, you don’t think about anything like this happening. You look at the list of people who have gotten this award, and it’s pretty impressive. Now my name is on that list.”

That list includes such notable artists as Carly Simon, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Alan Jackson, who was on hand to present Strait with the award. Jackson also performed Strait's hit, 'Let's Fall to Pieces Together,' a song that he said made him "want to sing country music" when he was still playing in bars and trying to get a record deal.

Lee Ann Womack performed Strait's song 'Troubadour,' while Garth Brooks sang a medley of several of his hits, including 'Unwound,' 'Amarillo by Morning' and 'The Firemen,' as part of a tribute to the 61-year-old.

“It’s like Gene Kelly didn’t invent dance but by God he could dance,” ASCAP President Paul Williams says of Strait's historic career. “And whether (George Strait) writes one song or now settles into a career of writing thousands of great songs, the fact is that there is such pure authentic emotion and strength in his voice. There’s something about the pure cowboy strength in what he does. It takes me to a place where music at its best is what it’s about.”

Songwriter Josh Kear, whose many credits of the past year include Lady Antebellum's 'Goodbye Town,' Tim McGraw's 'Highway Don't Care' and Tyler Farr's 'Redneck Crazy,' was named Songwriter of the Year.

Luke Bryan's song 'Drunk On You,' written by Kear and Chris Tompkins, and Randy Houser's 'How Country Feels,' written by Neal Thrasher, were both named Song of the Year.

The awards week concludes with tonight's 47th annual CMA Awards, which will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena at 8PM ET on ABC.