Country music fans, Music City talent and industry elite turned out in force tonight for the Academy of Country Music's 5th Annual ACM Honors, an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. The sold-out event, hosted by Joe Nichols for the first time, was held in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium-itself a winner for Venue of the Year.

The evening was a mix of live music, historical video retrospectives and current video tributes and interviews with industry veterans honoring Special Awards recipients Garth Brooks, Hank Cochran (posthumously), John Dorris, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Tom T. Hall, Reba, Taylor Swift and the film Country Strong, winners of the MBI (Musician, Bandleader, Instrumentalist) categories Chuck Ainlay, Eddie Bayers, Tom Bukovac, Dan Dugmore, Aubrey Haynie, Gordon Mote, Bryan Sutton, Glenn Worf and Paul Worley and winners of the Industry Awards categories, Steve "Bogie" Bogdanovich, Romeo Entertainment Group, Sally Williams, Ryman Auditorium, Joe's Bar (Chicago, IL), Mohegan Sun Casino (Uncasville, CT), Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN).

Artists who performed in tribute to honorees included: Rodney Atkins, performing -Much Too Young To Feel This Damn Old‖ in tribute to Garth Brooks Dean Dillion, performing -The Chair‖ in tribute to Hank Cochran Brett Eldredge, performing -It Ain't Gotta Be Love‖ in tribute to Country Strong Randy Houser and Thompson Square, performing -Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer To You)‖ Jack Ingram, performing -Faster Horses (the Cowboy and the Poet)‖ The Isaacs, performing a medley in tribute to Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, with Romain Virgo, performing -All The Gold In California‖ Montgomery Gentry, performing -Hillbilly Shoes‖ in tribute to John Dorris Jamey Johnson, performing -She's Got You,‖ -I Fall to Pieces‖ and -Make the World Go Away‖ in a medley tribute to Hank Cochran Buddy Miller, performing -That's How I Got to Memphis‖ in tribute to Tom T. Hall Joe Nichols, performing -Miami, My Amy‖ in tribute to Hank Cochran Jerrod Niemann, performing -Good Ride Cowboy‖ in tribute to Garth Brooks The Whites, performing -This World Is Not My Home‖ in tribute to John Dorris Lee Ann Womack, performing -Harper Valley PTA‖ in tribute to Tom T. Hall

Presenters included Ronnie Dunn presenting to Reba, Ralph Emery presenting to Tom T. Hall, John Michael Montgomery presenting to John Dorris, the Oak Ridge Boys presenting to Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, and the Academy's Bob Romeo presenting to Taylor Swift. New artist and CNN talent Robin Meade presented the Industry awards, Laura Bell Bundy presented the MBI awards, Susi Cochran, wife of the late Hank Cochran, accepted on his behalf. Bob Doyle accepted on behalf of Garth Brooks, who couldn't attend.