The singer paid tribute to his fellow musicians George Strait and Keith Whitley as he accepted the award.
He said, "When I first started playing music, I was in college and I would go rent all my equipment and put it in the back of a pick-up truck. The only thing I wanted to do was cut a record as good as Keith Whitley did, and I listened to that music over and over again."
Chesney was also nominated in the Best Male Vocalist category, but lost out to Brad Paisley.
American Idol winner Carrie Underwood won the award for Best Female Vocalist, and celebrated as her debut release, Some Hearts, was named Album of the Year.
Other winners at the ceremony include veteran crooner George Strait, who took Song of the Year for “Give It Away,” Rascal Flatts for Best Vocal Group and Brooks and Dunn for Best Vocal Duo - remaining unchallenged as they were crowned for the 14th time.
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