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Toby Keith just announced an incredible way he plans to pay tribute to his musical hero, Merle Haggard AP Images
FILE - In this April 7, 2014, file photo shows Toby Keith performs at ACM Presents an All-Star Salute to the Troops in Las Vegas. Singer and songwriter Keith will perform a tribute to the late legend Merle Haggard during the American Country Countdown Awards on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

As the country music industry continues to grapple with the loss of the great Merle Haggard, the artists that looked up to “The Hag” have already begun preparations as to how to pay tribute to the country legend.

And one of the first up to the plate is country titan Toby Keith.

RELATED: When Merle Haggard could no longer sing, Toby Keith came to the rescue

On April 21, the famed singer/songwriter announced his plans to perform a tribute to Merle at the upcoming American Country Countdown Awards (ACCA), which will air live from Los Angeles on FOX on Sunday, May 1.

RELATED: Willie Nelson opens up about his dear friend, Merle Haggard, in brand-new interview

According to an April 21 press release, Toby will join with Merle’s longtime backing band, The Strangers, along with Merle’s son, Ben Haggard, for a fitting tribute to the country legend. ACCA host Matthew McConaughey will introduce the tribute.

Upping the emotional quotient will be the fact that Merle’s widow, Theresa, will also be attending with a number of members of the Haggard family.

Toby is sure to serve up one of the most memorable moments of the award show, which will also include performances by Kelsea Ballerini, 2016 NASH Icon Award recipients Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Cam, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Martina McBride, Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell and Carrie Underwood.

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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