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George Strait, Miranda Lambert honor Merle Haggard at ACM Awards

Garth Brooks congratulates Merle Haggard on ACM Crystal Milestone Award
Garth Brooks congratulates Merle Haggard on ACM Crystal Milestone Award
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Merle Haggard was the recipient of the Crystal Milestone Award at the 49th annual ACM Awards on Sunday, April 6. Garth Brooks was on hand to introduce a special tribute to the country legend–George Strait and Miranda Lambert would be teaming up to sing some of Merle Haggard’s songs.

George Strait and Miranda Lambert entertain with Merle Haggard classics
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

George Strait took the stage in his usual, unassuming sport jacket with jeans, while Miranda Lambert looked like the perfect southern princess in denim shirt, wide brown belt and gold fringe mini skirt. The pair started off their set with Merle Haggard’s 1966 hit “I’m A Lonesome Fugitive” and continued on with the classic, “The Bottle Let Me Down.”

Merle Haggard was seen in the audience, following along with his lyrics, but when it actually came time for him to accept his award, he was a man of very few words.

Garth Brooks even made a good show of bringing Merle Haggard to the stage with the audience singing “Happy Birthday” in celebration of his 77th, but when Merle Haggard arrived on stage, he simply said:

Thank you very much. Country music’s been great to me all my life and great again tonight. Thank you for your participation in one of my most eventful evenings. Thank you

Well, what more needed to be said really? Merle Haggard will always be known as one of the “original” voices of country music and a voice by which many others measured themselves when striving for their own chance at stardom. The ACM Crystal Milestone Award celebrates his achievements over five decades of performing country music.

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