Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton have been announced as the early winners at this year's (09) Academy of Country Music Awards.
Haggard, who is recovering from cancer surgery, and the late Harlan Howard will receive the Poets Award for their songwriting contributions to country music, while Parton will be honoured with the Jim Reeves International Award when the ceremony takes place in Las Vegas on 5 April (09).
Other early winners, announced on Tuesday (24Mar09), include Randy Travis, Hank Williams Jr. and Kenny Rogers, who will all receive Cliffie Stone Pioneer Awards, while Toby Keith's movie Beer for My Horses will be the recipient of the Tex Ritter Award, which is given to a country music-oriented movie.