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Country superstar Toby Keith finally gets much-deserved recognition for "21 years of hard work"

The stars were out in full force June 18th in New York City, as some of the most elite musical wordsmiths came together for the 2015 Songwriters Hall of Fame 46th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner.

And as you might expect, no one was at a shortage of words.

“It’s cool to be recognized when you are alive and when you can enjoy it with your family,” explained Toby Keith, who was inducted to the organization following an enthusiastic introduction by late night talk show host Stephen Colbert. “I don’t do award shows. This one is voted on by your peers, recognizing 21 years of hard work.”

Keith was said to “wow the crowd” with a “powerful performance” of “Clancy’s Tavern,” accompanied by Scott Emerick on guitar.

“(This award) is the only thing I ever wanted,” Keith said.

And Keith wasn’t the only country icon on the red carpet. Jennifer Nettles was looking her amazing self and was on hand to help induct the great Bobby Braddock and sing what Reuters called “an emotional rendition” of Braddock’s “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band also helped to induct Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead and included Brown taking an impressive stab at the song “Casey Jones.”

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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