NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Some of country music’s biggest songs were honored Sunday night during the annual SESAC Awards at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The performing rights organization kicked off CMA Awards week by honoring the songwriters and music publishers behind this year’s most-performed country and Americana songs at SESAC’s annual Nashville Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 5.

First-time CMA Award nominee Megan Moroney got the party started with a performance of her number one hit, “Tennessee Orange.”

Moroney’s songwriting skills were recognized for the hit that plunged her into the spotlight after going viral. “Tennessee Orange” is also up for Song of the Year at the CMA Awards on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

“I always say I’m a songwriter first. I love all the things that come with being an artist, like playing the shows and the look and everything, but to my core, I’m a songwriter. For me, it’s just very therapeutic and I feel like I’ve seen the way some of my songs, like ‘Girl in the Mirror,’ have helped other people, and so it’s just a really cool thing that I get to do,” Moroney told News 2 from the red carpet. 

The night’s top honor, Songwriter of the Year, was awarded to Jon Nite, who has penned hits for artists like Tyler Hubbard, Brett Young, and Gabby Barrett.

SESAC’s Song of the Year honor went to the hit “Thank God,” which was written by Josh Hoge and Christian Stalnecker, and recorded by married couple Kane Brown and Katelyn Brown.

Meanwhile, after winning seven awards throughout the night, Sony Music Publishing took home the title of Publisher of the Year.

Sunday’s SESAC Awards marked the beginning of a week full of star-studded events in Music City. News 2 will have highlights every night leading up to Wednesday’s CMA Awards.