One of my favorite parts of any awards show is when time is taken to honor a legend in the industry. It's even better when I'm a huge fan of the person being honored, and that is going to be the case this Thursday night at the CMA Awards show on ABC. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill will join Lady Antebellum and Blake Shelton in a long overdue tribute to legendary singer, songwriter and American icon Willie Nelson.

For more than 50 years, Willie Nelson has been a part of the country music scene. Originally as a songwriter, writing hits for Roy Orbison, Faron Young and, most famously, Patsy Cline's 'Crazy'. Nelson then became performer himself in Nashville, where he had great success. But the most prominent career move Willie would make was in the early 70's, when he left Nashville to become the face of the outlaw country music scene.

To date, Willie Nelson has released well over 100 albums. More than 40 of those releases peaked in the top 10 of the U.S. Country Album charts.

Willie's contribution to music and pop culture goes far beyond charting singles and albums. We also know him very well as an actor and an activist who co-founded Farm Aid, the annual concert to benefit family farmers in the United States. The event has been going strong for 27 years.

One person who will not be in attendance for Willie's honoring is Toby Keith. Despite the fact that the two have collaborated both in music and on the movie screen, Toby made it very clear that he has no intention of making an appearance, telling Country Weekly, “Hell no, I ain’t showing up. I gotta go get a root canal that day, or something fun.”. That's a shame. You'd think Keith would swallow his pride for a day and help pay tribute to Willie, of all people.

Here's Willie Nelson, performing 'Always On My Mind' in 1982: