The 2015 CMA Awards honored a number of today's country hitmakers -- and also two country legends. On Wednesday (Nov. 4), directly before the 2015 CMA Awards ceremony began, Johnny Cash and George Jones were posthumously awarded the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award and the Joe Talbot Award, respectively.

John Carter Cash accepted the award for his father, given to "an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in country music." The award recognizes "an artist who has achieved both national and international prominence and stature through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales and public representation at the highest level." Past recipients of the award include Willie Nelson (2012) and Kenny Rogers (2013).

Jones' award was accepted by his widow, Nancy Jones. The Joe Talbot Award recognizes "outstanding leadership and contributions to the preservation and advancement of country music’s values and tradition." It was only the fifth time since 2001 that the award has been given out, and the first time since 2007.

"I Got the Boy" hitmaker Jana Kramer presented both awards.

"The CMA Awards is a night when we recognize our brightest stars, songwriters, producers and directors," says CMA CEO Sarah Trahern in a statement. "But it is also an occasion for us to honor some of our industry's most revered icons, who have carried the torch and helped to advance country music around the world."

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