Wednesday night (Nov. 5) at the 2014 CMA Awards, Vince Gill became just the second person in history to receive the Irving Waugh Award of Excellence, an honor given in recognition of his "historic impact on country music."

The 12-time CMA host and 18-time CMA winner became emotional during an introductory video featuring legends like Merle Haggard and James Taylor talking about their appreciation of his work. After taking the stage, Gill used much of his speech to praise Waugh, the late broadcasting pioneer who brought the CMAs to television decades ago and a man Gill called "the consummate gentleman."

The Country Music Hall of Famer said, "This has been a pretty amazing week. Back home in my hometown, they unveiled a statue of me at my high school." Ever the comedian, Gill added, "It's nine and a half feet tall and anatomically correct."

Gill joins Johnny Cash as the only artists ever to receive the Irving Waugh honor. The night before the CMA ceremony, he received the BMI Icon Award, recognizing his songwriting.

Gill was a 2014 CMA Awards nominee for Vocal Event of the Year, for 'Bakersfield' with Paul Franklin.