2019 ACM Honors: Miranda Lambert Lauded for ‘Following Her Path’ [PICTURES]
Miranda Lambert was one of the biggest honorees of the evening during the 2019 ACM Honors ceremony on Wednesday (Aug. 21), taking home the Gene Weed Milestone Award for her extraordinary accomplishments as a recording artist, songwriter and performer. Keith Urban presented Lambert with the trophy, taking time during his onstage appreciation of the iconic country star to remember her early days as an opening act for him 14 years ago.
"What I loved about her is in her, I saw a kindred spirit right away, because she did what I used to do ... Whoever I was opening for, I'd sit right at the front at every show. I wouldn't miss a minute of it," Urban recalled. "She was at the front, every night we played, and I remember seeing that and thinking, 'I know that person really well. That's a kindred spirit.'"
He went on to detail Lambert's rise to the top of her industry, lauding her dedication to remaining true to herself and her musical identity throughout every stage of her career. "To watch your journey go from that to making records that were always all about you, and that you followed your muse, wherever it went -- you just followed your muse unapologetically," Urban continued. "In the process of ... defying trends and all that other crap, you just stayed true to yourself and followed your path, and here you are, accepting this award, with the most ACM Awards [any artist has ever won]."
Lambert offered her gratitude to Urban, describing him as a mentor-turned-peer who continues to inspire her today. "I learned so much from you. I learn so much from you every time you talk, every time you make records, every time I get to share the stage with you," she stated. "You are absolutely one of my heroes."
The singer then turned her appreciation outward, thanking the people in her life and the Nashville community. "I don't even know what to say. I'm so humbled," she said.
"I'll never get over it," Lambert went on to say, speaking of her role as a musician and a part of country music. "Some days I feel like I've been doing it for two days, and some days I feel like I've been doing it for 200 years -- but today, I feel like I've been doing it for two days. And I'm so appreciative of y'all for letting me do it. Thank you so much."
Lambert and Urban also joined forces onstage to perform a duet version of one of Lambert's best-loved ballads, "The House That Built Me." To see photos of Lambert and the people around her -- including Urban as well as her husband, Brendan McLoughlin, who walked the red carpet alongside her -- flip through the gallery below!