The new award honours "uncompromising artists in the spirit of Merle Haggard", while acknowledging "a man who has figured prominently in ACM history", according to RollingStone.com.

Fans will have to wait to see the Nashville, Tennessee awards show, hosted by Lady Antebellum - the ACM Honors will air on 9 September (16). Glen Campbell, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban will also be feted at the prizegiving.