Written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman, "Live Like You Were Dying" spent several weeks at No. 1 and won numerous awards.
McGraw lost his father, former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Tug McGraw, to cancer last year and has said the song holds special meaning for him.
The lyrics tell of a man in his early 40s who learns he does not have long to live and is asked how he handled the news. McGraw sings, "Someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying."
In other awards, Dennis Agajanian was chosen entertainer of the year, and Randy Gunn and Melanie Walker top male and female vocalist, respectively.
Vocal group honors went to the Fox Brothers. Craig Morgan was named mainstream country artist of the year and Chunky Nelms top new artist.
Marty Raybon won the Pioneer Award and Clint Miller the Living Legend Award.
Natalie Grant performed with Wynonna Judd, and several others sang during the show, including Diamond Rio, Andy Griggs, Jamie O'Neal, Josh Turner and Jeff Bates.