Miranda Lambert received the first Merle Haggard Spirit Award in ACM Honors at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee last August 30, 2016 and it was televised on CBS last September 9. The award-winning singer also paid tribute to her “hero” on the occasion.
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Lambert expressed her appreciation upon receiving the award. She was also amazed at how her name ended up on the trophy along with Merle Haggard.
She acknowledged the iconic singer, Emmylou Harris, who presented her the award and added, “This is one of those that you kind of won’t realize until you know, a week from now, I’ll probably be calling everyone saying, ‘I just hung out with Emmylou Harris and received a Merle Haggard award.’”
Moments after she received the award, Miranda Lambert came back to the stage to present her own version of the classic Misery and Gin which was originally sung by her idol, Merle Haggard.
The newly added award in ACM Honors, known as the Merle Haggard Spirit Award, distinguishes the ability of the artists in country music who are “uncompromising artists” exhibiting the spirit of the late icon, Merle Haggard, while recognizing an important figure in Academy of Country Music, according to RollingStone.com. This description is said to be the perfect illustration of Miranda Lambert who expanded the boundaries of her genre; making her the recipient of the said award.
Lambert was greatly influenced by Haggard. She had been great in performing his songs on stage during her own concerts. She sang The Bottle Let Me Down during the 2010 All for the Hall fundraising in Nashville and in 2003, Fightin’ Side of Me on USA’s Nashville Star.
A few days prior to Haggard’s death, Lambert was asked by Entertainment Tonight if there is anyone left on her bucket list. The country singer answered, “Merle Haggard, for sure.”
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