Trisha Yearwood was presented with the Voice of Music Award at the 53rd annual ASCAP Country Music Awards, held on Monday night (Nov. 2) in Nashville. Tennessee native Justin Timberlake was on hand to honor the singer.

The pop superstar's speech about Yearwood noted the recent release of her 12th studio album, her new coookware line and furniture collection, and her newest cookbook and cooking show, Trisha's Southern Kitchen. But, Timberlake told the crowd, "tonight, we celebrate Trisha Yearwood, the music creator."

"Since her debut in the early '90s, Trisha Yearwood has given young women voice through song, with powerful lyrics about love, loss and staying true to your own self," Timberlake said during the ceremony. "She's a Grammy, CMA, ACM Award-winning, platinum recording artist, and the epitome of Southern charm: strong, confident and, of course, very smart ... and I'm sure my buddy Garth [Brooks] would agree, pretty damn hot."

Yearwood was feted with performances of three of her biggest hits: Lady Antebellum sang "Walkaway Joe," while Yearwood's step-daughter, Allie Brooks, sang "She's in Love With the Boy" and Reba McEntire performed "The Song Remembers When." Former president Jimmy Carter, a fellow Georgia native and Habitat for Humanity supporter, then presented Yearwood with the prestigious honor.

"I've known about Trisha Yearwood for a long time, since she became famous. First of all, as a singer, and then a songwriter, and then she became famous as an author -- author of a book that was on the New York Times bestseller list ... And she's also a famous actress, as you know," Carter began. "For the last 10 years, I've had the good fortune of being very close to her and her husband ... In fact, this morning, we were in Memphis, Tenn., working on the same Habitat for Humanity house.

"Trisha is a very good worker," Carter boasted. "She's actually one of the best Habitat for Humanity volunteers that I have ever seen. She's always on top of scaffolding and the roof trusses, almost like an acrobat, performing her duties and also doing the dangerous things that make a lot of men like me ashamed."

When Carter invited Yearwood to take the stage to accept the Voice of Music Award, the singer admitted that she was humbled by the recognition.

"There's so many people to thank, and I have to start with President and Miss Rosalyn Carter. Thank you so much for showing my husband and I an example of not only the kind of marriage to have but the kind of human beings to be. It is an honor to be in your presence ...," Yearwood said. "I thought it was really cool that Justin Timberlake was here, and then when he walked out on my behalf, I lost my mind."

Yearwood went on to thank Lady A and reminisce about when Hillary Scott's mom, Linda Davis, would bring a young Scott to sessions and told her step-daughter, "Other than allowing me to marry your father, what you just did for me was one of the greatest things I've ever been a part of." She also admitted that McEntire "was inspirational to me, watching her receive an award and saying, 'If you have a dream, you can do it.' I saw that through the TV screen and believed it."

The country star also recalled how her time singing demos helped her career.

"It was a wonderful experience. It taught me what a good song was. It taught me what songs were right for me. And when I had the chance to make my first album, you gave me good songs, because you really believed in me ...," Yearwood said. "I hope you know that the best compliment you can pay me is for a songwriter to tell me they like what I did to their song. It's the highest compliment.

"I want you to know that I'm very humbled," Yearwood concluded. "I'm humbled and honored ... Thank you to all the songwriters. I'm a big fan."

In addition to Yearwood's honor, Sam Hunt was presented with the Songwriter-Artist of the Year Award, and Ashley Gorley received the Songwriter of the Year honor. Hunt's "Leave the Night On" was named the ASCAP Song of the Year.

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