Per its nomination form, the Spirit of Texas Award "was established to celebrate the uniqueness of Texas and Texans. It recognizes individuality, achievement, style, independent, innovative and forward thinking." The Hall of Fame itself celebrates "excellence in competition, business and support of rodeo and the western lifestyle in Texas."
"If I can look back and think of the two things that have defined my career more than anything else -- it's Texas and Cowboys," says Watson, as quoted by Music Row. "To be elected to the Texas Cowboy Hall Of Fame is hard to put into words but it's a humbling honor - especially when I see the names of my some of my heroes like Nolan Ryan, George Strait and Willie Nelson on that list. I've always said my music isn't about honors and awards but this one is special. What an evening it will be in January for the induction and I know I'll be counting down the days."
Hall of Fame inductees with ties to country music include Strait, Red Steagall, the Light Crust Doughboys, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen. Past Spirit of Texas award honorees include Pat Green, Clay Walker and the Gatlin Brothers.
Proceeds from the induction ceremony benefit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame & Museum's ongoing education programs and Western lifestyle preservation efforts.
Watson has been one of the most successful independent country singers and songwriters for over 20 years. His most recent album, Red Bandana, was released in June and became his fourth straight non-holiday studio album to crack the top 10.