Renee Zellweger's estranged husband Kenny Chesney has been honoured with a top country music prize at Monday's (17OCT05) performing rights organisation's 43rd annual country music awards gala in Nashville, Tennessee.

The singer won the ASCAP Voice of Music Award, which is reserved for artist's whose music is said to give ordinary people's lives a voice.

Accepting the honour Chesney said: "First and foremost, I consider myself a songwriter."

Stars including Garth Brooks, AMY GRANT and GEORGE STRAIT have been previous recipients of the award.