Rodney Atkins

Rodney Atkins

Rodney Atkins was the toast of the BMI Country Awards in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday night after winning the prestigious Song of the Year prize.

I thought (the Icon award) was kind of for special people. And then I got a call about six weeks ago and found out that I'm a special person, and I'm loving it

Take a Back Road was co-written by Rhett Akins and Luke Laird, who was also named Songwriter of the Year alongside Dallas Davidson.

Speaking about the hit track to The Tennesseean, Atkins said, "It became something that once we released it, instantly, emails started coming in by the thousands, with people saying that it made them feel differently. It lifted their spirits.

"It was their get-in-their-right-state-of-mind (song) to go to chemotherapy treatments, deal with cancer, losing their job, going through tough times. Those are the songs I love... anthems about real life".

Meanwhile, country legend Tom T. Hall was honored with the BMI Icon Award.

Shocked by the recognition he said, "I thought (the Icon award) was kind of for special people. And then I got a call about six weeks ago and found out that I'm a special person, and I'm loving it. I'm up there with Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, (Kris) Kristofferson and Willie (Nelson). It's pretty good company".

Numerous other stars were also feted during the ceremony - they included Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift, who was also celebrating the success of her new album Red, which debuted at number one on Wednesday with first-weeks sales of 1.2 million.